The New York Times ran an interesting article a few months ago titled: “The Immigration Dividend”.
In the article the writer Ted Widmer explains how Immigration has helped our country over the past several decades. He explains how Immigration has become a major issue in the Presidential race. He states that according to a recent Pew report: Republicans are more likely than Democrats (53% to 24%) to believe that immigration is making our society worse
However, he argues, history has shown that U.S. Immigration policy has helped the United States. “…History provides some clarity about the relative costs and benefits of immigration over time. Fifty years ago this month, Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. By any standard, it made the United States a stronger nation.”
” Nearly 59 million people have come to the United States since 1965, and three-quarters of them came from Latin America and Asia. It was not unrestrained immigration — the act created preferences for those with technical training, or family members in the United States. But it was vastly more open than what had come before.
There is little doubt that the act succeeded in the ways that its progressive supporters hoped — it made America a genuinely New Frontier, younger and more diverse, truer to its ideals. But it also was a success when measured by a more conservative calculus of hard power. It certainly increased American security. Significant numbers of immigrants and their children joined the United States military after 1965, and in every category the armed forces became more ethnically diverse.
The flood of new immigrants also promoted prosperity in ways that few could have imagined in 1965. Between 1990 and 2005, as the digital age took off, 25 percent of the fastest-growing American companies were founded by people born in foreign countries.”
He states that most of the growth in the last 20 years has come from the rise of the internet and immigrant ingenuity. He cites how immigrants have helped fuel the growth of Silicon Valley. The 2010 census stated that more than 50 percent of technical workers in Silicon Valley are Asian-American. He reminds us that Google was co-founded by Sergey Brin who emigrated to the U.S. He also informs us that the new C.E.O of United Airlines is Mexican American. He lists other immigrants who have helped our country for the better. The list of immigrants who have helped this country is long indeed.
He concludes his article by reminding us that there will always be debates about Immigration and opponents of immigration are usually correct when they argue that immigration brings dramatic change. However, ” a careful consideration of the 1965 Immigration Act shows that our willingness to lower barriers made this a better country. To convey that hard-earned wisdom to other nations wrestling with the same issues, and to open our own doors more widely, would be a modest way to repay the great contributions that immigrants have made on a daily basis to the United States over the past 50 years.”
I think it is clear that immigrants have helped our country.
Lawrence Gruner is an immigration attorney in Sacramento, California. His office handles immigration cases including fiance visa cases and green card cases in California, the United States and the World. He can be reached at 916-760-7270 or 888-801-6558. He would be happy to answer any questions you have about U.S. Immigration law.