Immigrants & Refugees Make Us Far Richer & Safer
Our military understands that taking refugees helps to make the world safer.
- Many top military leaders, both past and present, have pleaded with the Trump administration, arguing refugee cuts are dangerous.
- They call the refugee program a “critical lifeline” to people who help American troops, diplomats, and intelligence officials overseas.
- Our policies set an important example in the world. When we accept refugees, other countries often do, too.
Immigrants Add Massive Creativity & Economic Growth
Immigrants built our railroads and cities. Most of them work hard to make a better life for themselves.
Immigrants are only 14% of our population. Yet they contribute FAR MORE to our economy than anyone would expect from their small numbers.
- In 2016 alone, immigrants added $2 trillion to our economy.
- Out of the top 500 companies in the US (the Fortune 500), immigrants started 40% of them and they generated over $1.7 trillion in revenue.
- Immigrants founded Google, Yahoo, AT&T, Apple, McDonald’s, General Electric, eBay, PayPal, Bank of America, and Intel. Albert Einstein was a German-born refugee.
- Since 2011, immigrants created 2/3 of all the growth in our economy, started more than half the new businesses that are now worth over $1 billion, and about 30% of all our new businesses.
- Immigrants are over twice as likely as native born Americans to win a Nobel Prize, create a patented invention, or win an Academy Award.
- Immigrants make up a far higher percentage of engineers, mathematicians, statisticians, computer scientists, and physical scientists than you would expect from their percentage of the population.
- Immigrant scientists and engineers are more likely than native-born scientists and engineers to earn master’s degrees and over twice as likely to earn doctorates.
- Immigrants often build businesses in poor neighborhoods, where we need new jobs the most.
- On average, the children of immigrants earn more college degrees than do the children of Americans born here. This is good for our economy.
- Immigrants are more likely to work unusual hours than US citizens and more likely to move to places that need workers.
Immmigrants Pay Far More in Taxes than They Use
- Undocumented workers tend to be younger than the typical American worker or legal immigrant and healthy. Most of them don’t bring their aging parents.
- This means they don’t use our health care system much. Studies show immigrants are less likely to die from common causes like heart disease and cancer than are Americans born here.
- Despite stereotypes, immigrants have less children on average than local populations.
- A 2017 government study found refugees contributed $63 billion more to our government than they used in services.
- On average, each immigrant contributes $80,000 more in taxes than they use in government services during their lifetime.
- A 2014 study found immigrants contributed $182.4 billion more to Medicare’s core hospital trust fund from 1996 to 2011 than they used.
- The Social Security Administration estimates unauthorized immigrants strengthen it by contributing $13 billion more in payroll taxes than they use each year.
- The IRS estimates undocumented immigrants pay over $9 billion a year in withheld payroll taxes.
- We have over a million international students here and they contribute over $39 billion to our economy.
Our Economy Would Collapse Without Immigration
Immigrants made up 17% of our workforce in 2018.
Unauthorized immigrants feed us. Between 50 and 70% of our agricultural workers are unauthorized immigrants.
Immigrants make up:
- 27% of our doctors, including 31% of all family (primary care) doctors
- 30% of construction trade jobs, likely more because of underreporting
- about 50% of all plasterers and stucco masons, drywall installers, ceiling tile installers, and painters and paperhangers
- about 46% of all carpet, floor, and tile installers and finishers and roofers
- 39% of all brick, block, and stone masons and reinforcing iron and rebar workers
- 33% of all meatpacking jobs, likely more because of underreporting
- 64% of our beauty parlor workers (manicures, pedicures, makeup artists, shampooers, skin care specialists, etc.)
- 50% of maids and housekeeping cleaners
- 47% of our taxi drivers and chauffers
- over 25% of our nursing, psychiatric, and home care aids
Immigrants work in some of our most unpleasant, difficult, and dangerous jobs, like construction, roofing, agriculture, slaughtering animals, lawn service, or working long hours in the heat or cold.
Our Aging Population Needs Immigrants
All over the rich world, women are having less children than before. People are living longer, so the population of senior citizens is growing while the working-age population is shrinking.
In 2018, US women gave birth to the fewest children since 1986. Meanwhile, about 10,000 Baby Boomers retire every day.
Without immigrants, this unprecedented pattern will destroy our economy.
- People who retire depend on Social Security and Medicare.
- Both of these programs are funded by younger people who work.
- In 1960, for each retiree or disabled person receiving Social Security, there were 5 workers paying Social Security taxes. In 2013, were less than 3.
- Without immigrants, we will eventually face a crisis for both Social Security and Medicare.
- Without immigrants, we won’t have enough people to pay taxes and take care of our elderly and disabled.
The poor nations have plenty of desperate workers and populations bursting with young people. We need new immigrants.
It only makes sense to accept immigration as a helpful solution to our declining ratio of workers to retirees.
Legalizing Migrants Would Grow Our Economy
- Legalizing the 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants living in the US would grow our economy by almost $2 trillion in the next 14 years.
- It would also create 145,000 jobs each year and add $2.1 billion in state and local taxes each year.
- The DREAM Act giving 825,000 young foreign-born people legal residency would improve our economy by $1.4 trillion in extra income and job creation over the next 40 years.
The Social Security Administration calculates immigration reform would:
- increase Social Security’s revenue by $300 billion in the next 10 years
- add $64 billion in new tax revenues to Medicare
- boost our economy by adding 6.6 million workers to our tax rolls by 2024
- result in nearly 10 additional taxpayers for each new beneficiary.
Getting Rid of Immigrants Would Hurt Our Economy
- Experts estimate just finding and deporting illegal immigrants would cost between $400 and $600 billion.
- Deporting the 11.3 unauthorized immigrants would likely cut our economy by almost $8 trillion over the next 14 years.
- It would hurt our economy about as much as the Great Recession of 2008.
Excellent Vetting of Refugees
Long before Trump, we had excellent, thorough background checks for refugees:
- It starts with two interviews with the United Nations refugee agency.
- Then we check each applicant with the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the FBI, and the National Counterterrorism Center.
- The US process involves up to 8 government agencies, 6 different security databases, 5 separate background checks, 4 biometric security checks, 3 separate in-person interviews, and 2 interagency security reviews.
- If any concerns at all arise, they have in-person interviews with a DHS officer overseas.
- The 9-step screening process starts all over anytime new information arises. The whole process takes an average of two years.
- We emphasize admitting the most vulnerable applicants, such as widows with children and elderly, sick, weak, or disabled people.
- Only 2% of our refugees are men between 18 and 30 years old—the typical terrorist profile.
None of the 3 million refugees who have come here in the last 40 years since our refugee program began has been arrested for killing anyone in an act of terror.
American Muslims Are Open Minded & Help Us Fight Terrorism
Many of the refugees from Iraq and Syria are skilled laborers or well-educated doctors, lawyers, and professors.
- Most of the poor people there can’t afford the exorbitant cost smugglers charge to bring people from refugee camps to borders and put them on boats.
- A higher percentage of American Muslims have college degrees than other Americans.
- American Muslim women hold more college or postgraduate degrees than American Muslim men.
- And they’re more likely to work in professional careers than women from most other religious groups in America.
American Muslims are not strict and fundamentalist.
- Most of them say there is more than one way to interpret Islam’s teachings and 90% of them agree women should be able to work outside the home.
- There is no evidence at all that any large US mosques argue for radical jihad or teach extremism.
Law enforcement and the FBI both say Muslim Americans have repeatedly informed them of concerns fellow Muslims may be turning to extremism or considering violence.
In fact, our Syrian refugees here have already helped our government learn a huge amount about ISIS leaders, military equipment, and finances.
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