If we want to create jobs in America, we must welcome foreign-born innovators. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses of immigrant entrepreneurs yearning to breathe free": This is the message we need Lady Liberty to shine forth into the world.
Yet Ellis Island has put up a velvet rope line. To vital job generators, we are saying, "There's no room for you."
Inviting immigrants in to create jobs may seem counterintuitive, but the facts are clear. Immigrant-led innovation is key to creating U.S. jobs. According to statistics from Partnership for a New American Economy, 40% of Fortune 500 companies were created by immigrants or their children. Further, between 1995 and 2005, 25% of high-tech startups in the United States had at least one immigrant founder, and these companies have created more than 450,000 jobs.
Take Google. Russian-born Sergey Brin, together with U.S.-born Larry Page, built a search engine business that today employs 31,300 people. French-born eBay founder Pierre Omidyar cultivated 17,700 jobs, and Taiwanese-born Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo, paved the way for today's 13,700 Yahoo employees.