Surest Way to Create New Jobs.


Tax breaks? Infrastructure spending? Free college? These are some of the ideas the presidential candidates have for boosting growth and creating jobs. But the best way to do it may be one neither candidate has highlighted: bringing more immigrants to the United States.

Immigration is a contentious issue, especially now, with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump calling for new limits on people entering the United States and a “deportation force” to round up and expel people in the country without documentation. But economists and entrepreneurship experts think of immigrants quite differently—as an economic resource America could get a lot more out of.

“The first thing needed to create new high-growth businesses for jobs is immigrants,” Bill Aulet, managing director of Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, tells Yahoo Finance in the video above. “They come here determined to start a company, we teach them how to do it, then we send them back. That’s crazy.”

Immigrants start businesses at a far higher rate than native-born Americans, as this data from the Kauffman Foundation shows:


A new report on immigration by the National Academy of Sciences found there to be “many important benefits of immigration—including on economic growth, innovation and entrepreneurship—with little to no negative effects on the overall wages or employment of native-born workers in the long term.” While some people think immigrants undercut wages and job opportunities for native-born workers, there’s little evidence that’s true. Immigrants do, however, earn and spend money, work at jobs many Americans don’t want and start many businesses that grow quickly and hire.

New businesses are important because that’s where most new jobs in the economy come from. In 2014, the pace of new-business startups hit the lowest point in 20 years, largely due to the sustained impact of the 2008 financial meltdown and the corresponding recession. Startup activity has bounced back during the last two years, but it still isn’t generating as much growth as it could or should be. “It’s one-for-one,” Aulet says. “One starts, and one goes out of business. That business is kind of being attacked.”

Immigration policy is complex, and many people conflate unauthorized immigration with the rules governing who can come to the United States. There are roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country. Many of them work and contribute to the economy, often in low-paying jobs that would be hard to fill with legal workers. If Trump were elected president and managed to deport the majority of those people, there would be labor shortages at many companies and growth could suffer.

Among immigrants who are permanent residents or visa holders, there are some with blue-collar skills and others with college or graduate-level educations. The Obama administration wants to establish a new type of “startup visa” that would allow extended stays for foreigners who commit to starting and running a business likely to have strong job-creation potential. Some critics argue that US policy shouldn’t favor privileged foreigners over others, but the concept does offer a targeted initiative that might not get bogged down in the murkier matter of sweeping immigration reform.

Countries such as Canada and England, meanwhile, seem to be doing a better job of attracting immigrant entrepreneurs. “We seem to be behind the curve,” Aulet says. “Some of the best entrepreneurs are these immigrants, and they’re not feeling welcome in the country? You’ve got to be kidding me.“ Uh, nope.

Interview of Bill Aulet, Director, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, by Rick Newman of Yahoo Finance. 

Go to – to see video.