Domestic Excellence

Immigration

“At its core, immigration is a sign of a confident and successful nation. Immigrants' talent and hard work and love of freedom have helped us become the leader of the world.”
—President George W. Bush

11.9M+

Workers employed at Fortune 500 companies started by immigrants or children of immigrants

13.5%

Percentage of American population that is immigrant, in line with historical norms

7.6%

Percentage of immigrants that are self-employed, compared to 5.6% of native-born Americans

Immigrants play an important role in the economy. They account for 13% of the total U.S. population but represent nearly half of the labor force growth in the last decade. Pro-growth immigration reform can raise the pace of economic growth, increase per capita GDP, and reduce the budget deficit.

U.S. immigration laws do not meet the needs of our vibrant, growing 21st century economy. We admit immigrants based on standards set in the mid-1960s, and no major immigration legislation has passed since the 1986 Reagan amnesty.

Recommendations

  • Increase immigration to grow the labor force
  • Find a reasonable solution for the undocumented
  • Create more legal opportunities create a more secure border
  • Move towards increased skills-based immigration to address the coming workforce skills gap
  • Improve the temporary work visa system

Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative

Advancing policies that promote economic growth and strengthen our competitiveness in the global economy

Matthew Rooney
Matthew Rooney Managing Director, Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative George W. Bush Institute Full Bio
J.H. Cullum Clark
J.H. Cullum Clark Director, Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative George W. Bush Institute Full Bio
Laura Collins
Laura Collins Deputy Director, Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative George W. Bush Institute Full Bio