By: Kiara Palomares is a fellow for the Communications and Marketing Department 

This June marks the fifth annual Immigrant Heritage Month. This newly recognized celebration affords us the opportunity to highlight and pay tribute to all of the immigrants who continuously help propel this nation forward. It serves as a reminder that immigrants diversify our social makeup, yield us cultural insight, and fuel our economy. The USHCC would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the roles immigrants play in supporting the American society.

Statistics reveal that immigrants are leading contributors to the American economy. Research conducted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation explains that foreign-born citizens are twice as likely as native-born citizens to start a business. Currently, immigrant-owned businesses bring in about $775 billion a year in revenue. To further illustrate the impact immigrants have on the economy, it’s important to note that these same businesses employ one out of every ten employees, many of whom work in the science, engineering, technology, and math—STEM for short.

The immigrant population in the United States comprises a large portion of the STEM workforce, and the demographic continues to grow. In addition, half of all STEM workers who hold a PH. D—the highest degree a person can obtain in these fields—are immigrants. About a quarter of the engineering and technology firms started from 2006-2012 had at least one key founder who was foreign born. Entrepreneurs from different parts of the world have introduced us to some of the most eminent companies today, including Google, PayPal, Zumba, Yahoo, eBay, Comcast, RadioShack, and AT&T.

Though immigrants with high levels of education play an important part in sustaining the American economy, the same positive contributions are statistically proven in regards to immigrants who lack higher education.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the U.S. will need 3 million more workers in the next ten years to fill low-skilled jobs. Newcomers are most likely to fill low-skilled jobs, where help is desperately needed including: construction, agriculture, and manufacturing.

Recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have also contributed greatly to the American economy. DACA recipients are stand-up individuals; they represent what immigrants are capable of accomplishing when presented with the opportunity. Nearly all DACA holders, about 97%, are in the workforce, military, or school. DACA recipients also contribute $2 billion in state and local taxes annually. More than 5% of DACA recipients under the age of 25 have started their own business and about 24% of DACA recipients over the age of 25 have purchased their first home.

It is indisputable that immigrants act as a force that helps America flourish.  In honor of Immigrant Heritage Month, the USHCC would like to thank immigrants for their many contributions to the American economy and society.

To ready more of our stance on immigration click here.