Immigrants Key to US Prosperity

By November 16, 2006General

Here’s a new study that will absolutely wreck Lou Dobbs’ buzz.

Yesterday the National Venture Capital Association released a study called, “American Made: The Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Professionals on US Competitiveness.” Despite the long handle, it has some powerful information that should provide a useful backdrop as Congress reconvenes and as folks hint that they might be ready to tackle the immigration issue.

According to the study, done by Michaela Platzer of Content First and Stewart Anderson of the National Foundation for American Policy:

  • Fully 25% of the venture-backed public companies that have been established in the last 15 years were started by one or more immigrant founders.
  • In the tech sector, that figure rises to 40%.
  • The list of companies includes such well-known names as Google, Yahoo, Sun Microsystems and eBay.
  • The combined market cap of these companies exceeds $500 billion, which standing alone would put it about 17th in world GDP.
  • More than 400,000 jobs have been created worldwide by these companies.
  • “Yahoo would not be an American company today,” said its founder, Jerry Yang, “If the United States had not welcomed my family and me almost thirty years ago.”

    We have posted this slide before, showing the ever-increasing percentage of advanced US degrees awarded to non-US citizens. Our challenge is to figure out how to keep the best talent here, because the work will surely follow them. We ought not be putting the next Andy Grove or the next Jerry Yang on an airplane back home. If we do, we will lose our competitive edge in time.

    Again, as Congress nears yet another debate on immigration, we hope it’s one steeped in reason, not rhetoric. We need to continue to be a beacon to the world. Immigrants built this country many years ago, but as this study shows, immigrant continue to build this country. Innovation is the lifeblood of manufacturing and of the US economy. Let’s make sure we keep it here.

    Are you listening, Lou….?

    Join the discussion 4 Comments

    • Joe says:

      I couldn’t help it Pat. It’s like a car wreck. You just have to look. Again, did you do a little reading and discover the difference between legal and illegal or do you choose to continue your anti-Dobbs rant?

    • Pat Cleary says:


      I thought you were done commenting:

      Welcome back :)


    • dad29 says:

      Of course, you DO distinguish between ILLEGAL and LEGAL immigration, no?

    • Mold maker says:


      You just can’t get it through your head no matter how many time people repeat it. It’s about ILLEGAL immigration. See the word spelled in capitals? Dobbs is FOR immigration but against illegal immigration. Jeeze, get over it. Why not just come out and say it- “I’m Pat Cleary and I’m FOR illegal immigration”.