Frontera Fund News

4 Reasons to Celebrate Immigrants on July 4

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1. Every Independence Day, the Carnegie Corporation of New York – founded by Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie – honors the role of immigrants in strengthening and enriching American society. This year, its “Great Immigrants: The Pride of America” initiative pays tribute to 42 immigrants who have contributed to our culture and economy. Honorees, who hail from 30 countries, include:

Marcelo Claure, president and CEO of Sprint, from Bolivia

Thuan Pham, Chief Technology Officer of Uber, a refugee from Vietnam

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, from India 

Ana Luz Porzecanski, director of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History, from Uruguay   

Aziz Sancar, Nobel Prize-winning biochemist, from Turkey

Fernando Valenzuela, retired Major League Baseball pitcher, from Mexico

2. Sixty million Baby Boomers are currently in the process of retiring, and there aren’t enough native-born workers to compensate for their departure from the labor force. 

Immigrants play a vital role in filling jobs that would otherwise remain vacant or disappear, according to a report released on June 27 by the Bipartisan Policy Center, “Culprit or Scapegoat? Immigration’s Effect on Employment and Wages.”

The report points out that while overall employment is down in our recession-recovering economy, unemployment rates for native-born and immigrant workers have stayed roughly the same. That means immigrants are not “stealing” native-born workers’ jobs, as some politicians would have us believe. 

Rather, immigrants and native-born workers usually complement each other’s skills, rather than compete with each other. 

3. More than 7,000 people will become U.S. citizens over this Fourth of July weekend, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They’ll take oaths during nearly 100 ceremonies at historical landmarks and national parks nationwide.

“These new Americans will strengthen the fabric of our nation with their contributions to American society and prosperity, and be able to enjoy all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship,” announced USCIS Director León Rodríguez.

4. High rates of immigration are associated with low rates in crime, according to the American Immigration CouncilBetween 1990 and 2013, the immigrant share of the U.S. population grew from 7.9 percent to 13.1 percent. During that time, violent crime plummeted by 48 percent and property crime by 41 percent, according to FBI data.

In addition, immigrant workers and business owners – even those who are undocumented – pay billions of dollars every year in taxes. As of a year ago, DACA had already generated $422 million in fees and allowed nearly a million DREAMers to become eligible to work and grow the economy. Legalizing more workers could generate $4.5 to $5.4 billion in additional net tax revenue, plus support 750,000 to 900,000 jobs.