WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the highest ranking Latino in the U.S. Congress and the lead Senate sponsor of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, President Biden’s bold and inclusive framework for immigration reform, touted a new report released today by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC) that demonstrates why immigrants are crucial to the U.S. economy – both in our nation’s recovery from the pandemic and the long-term future.
“Immigrants are an important part of the fabric of American society, they are business owners, leaders in industry, innovators and job creators, and they are poised to help pave the way for our nation’s economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected them and their families,” said Sen. Menendez. “Undocumented immigrants, in particular, have played an outsized role as essential workers that kept our country going through the worst health and economic crisis in a generation. They deserve to have a future in our great nation, and that’s why we must provide them with a pathway to citizenship that will unleash their economic potential and lead us out of these dark times.”
Immigrants are vital to the economic recovery because of their contributions to the labor force and collective spending power. In addition to being overrepresented in agriculture, health care and other essential industries, immigrants who lost their jobs in the COVID-19 economic down spiral are returning to work at a faster rate than their native-born counterparts. As their employment rate increases, so does their spending power, which totaled $1.3 trillion, according to a 2019 analysis of American Community Survey data by the New American Economy.
Because of their entrepreneurship, immigrants are also vital to a future of sustained economic growth. Immigrants create 1 in 4 new businesses in the U.S. and currently employ close to 8 million American workers across the nation. Immigrants and the children of immigrants have started almost half of all Fortune 500 companies and will undoubtedly help fuel our economic recovery and growth as a nation.