Economic Growth Initiative

A Nation Built by Immigrants

America is strengthened by the contributions made by immigrants. For the U.S. economy to flourish to its full potential, outdated immigration policy must be modernized.

In-Depth: America's Advantage: A Handbook on Immigration and Economic Growth

Stories from American Immigrants

Immigrants come from a variety of backgrounds and no two stories are alike. Meet a few immigrants who are making America a more productive country.

Juan Carlos Hernandez
Protecting America while Becoming “American”
Read his story

Anna Grenda
Sewing an American Dream

Read her story

Tulip Nandu
From India to Indiana to Dallas in Pursuit of Higher Education
Read his story

Farhat Popal
How Americans Save a Spot at the Table for Immigrants
Read her story

Debunking Immigration Myths

Immigrants played a leading role in building what has become the most prosperous nation in the history of the world. However, legal immigrants are many times misrepresented or their role in the U.S. economy is misunderstood.

In-depth: Bush Institute's America's Advantage: A Handbook on Immigration and Economic Growth

MYTH: IMMIGRANTS ARE TAKING OVER
FACT: Immigrants actually only account for 13.5% of the total U.S. population, which is in line with historical norms

MYTH: IMMIGRANTS ARE ALL MEXICAN
FACT: 30% of immigrants come from Asia, and currently more are coming from China than Mexico

MYTH: IMMIGRANTS DON'T WORK
FACT: 72.5% of immigrants believe hard work is how you succeed in America and are responsible for half of the total U.S. labor force growth over the last decade

MYTH: IMMIGRANTS DON'T HELP THE ECONOMY
FACT: Immigrant-owned businesses with employees have an average of 11 employees

MYTH: IMMIGRANTS TAKE AMERICAN JOBS
FACT: 7.6% of immigrants were self-employed compared to 5.6% of native-born Americans and they founded more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies

MYTH: IMMIGRANTS AREN'T EDUCATED
FACT: Recent immigrants are more likely to have college degrees than native-born Americans and are more likely to have advanced degrees

Download our infographic to view more myths

Bush Institute Policy Recommendations

At the George W. Bush Institute, we believe immigration policy should be used as a tool for economic growth and prosperity.

In-depth: Policy Recommendations — Modernizing Immigration for Today's Realities The U.S. has not passed major immigration reform legislation since the Reagan administration, and we still use standards developed in the 1960s to determine who we permit to enter the U.S. A system this outdated cannot meet the needs of our vibrant, growing 21st-century economy. Pro-growth immigration reform can raise the pace of economic growth, increase per capita GDP, and reduce the deficit.

We recommend:

Congress should shift U.S. immigration policy from family reunification to employment-based migration and maintain or expand future flows or legal immigration
Congress needs to expand the H-1B high-skilled visa program
Congress should eliminate the per-country caps
Congress needs to overhaul the existing H-2A and H-2B temporary visa worker programs
Congress should create a pathway to earned citizenship for undocumented immigrants
Congress must enhance the enforcement of immigration laws

Learn More

In-depth: Policy Recommendations — Modernizing Immigration for Today's Realities
Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative

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