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 For the U.S. economy to flourish to its full potential, outdated immigration policy must be modernized.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: 2021 Policy Recommendations

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

Shabiha Nymphi
Working to Improve Health Care in Her Community
Read her story

Zunita Cummins
Entrepreneurship, Hard Work, and Opportunity
Read her story

America's Advantage

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

We are committed to changing the terms of this debate and offering bold, principle-based solutions. Successful immigration reform should be based on the following principles:

In-depth: Policy Recommendations — Building a System for Tomorrow  

Dreamers should be able to apply for citizenship
America should uphold our longstanding tradition of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers
We should manage our borders through investment, innovation, and by helping our neighbors
Our immigration systems should meet the needs of our 21st-century economy
We should create a more efficient temporary foreign worker entry program
The United States needs a rigorous, fair process for undocumented immigrants to get right with the law

Learn More

In-depth: Policy Recommendations — Building a System for Tomorrow
Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative

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