Immigration Promotes Entrepreneurship, Prosperity

Article excerpt

Immigration is pure entrepreneurship. You leave behind everything familiar to start somewhere new. To succeed, you need to develop alliances. You must acquire skills. You will have to improvise on occasion. It's a bold proposition.

Immigration is also fundamental to the U.S. national identity -- as the Senate just acknowledged with passage of the most significant reform bill in decades. Our nation's founders, determined to live in new ways, left behind old philosophies, old laws and old customs. The United States was conceived as a crucible for new beginnings.

Immigration has benefited the United States immensely. Because of our reputation as the country most receptive to ambitious upstarts willing to risk everything for a better life, we have attracted the world's hardest-working, most innovative dreamers.

A hundred years ago, for example, two Hungarian immigrants, Eugene Farkas and Joseph Galamb, helped design the Ford Motor Co.'s paradigm-shifting automobile, the Model T. In our own era, German immigrant Sebastian Thrun has helped steer transportation into the 21st century with his work on Google's self-driving-car project.

Identities don't just happen. They are consciously crafted. Indeed, if our forefathers had wanted to be known as the Land of the Secure and Protectionist, they would have erected a giant sculpture of a barrier in New York Harbor. Instead, they went with the Roman goddess of freedom who, with her 30-foot torch, has served as an icon of American enlightenment for more than 100 years.

The Statue of Liberty is one of this country's best-known symbols precisely because it embodies values and ideals fundamental to our national identity: America, land of the fresh start. America, teeming with opportunities, open to all. America, a land of innovation and progress, where we don't just tolerate new philosophies, new technologies, new ventures and new citizens, but we welcome them.

The United States welcomes immigrants, and all of its citizens benefit from their arrival.

Multiple studies have confirmed that immigrants are more likely to start businesses than native-born Americans. …