Today, immigrants make up around 13 percent of the U.S. population, yet they play a great role in entrepreneurship and business formation relative to their overall numbers. According to a report from the Kauffman Foundation, immigrants continue to be almost twice as likely as the native-born to become entrepreneurs. In fact, in 2014 immigrant entrepreneurs launched 28.5 percent of new businesses and continue to help fuel a growth in new business creation nationally. This is an increase from 25.9 percent in 2013 and 13.3 percent in 1996.
While many of these new businesses are not necessarily high-tech startups in Silicon Valley, the typical immigrant entrepreneur in communities throughout the country is opening in small 'mom and pop' shops, such as a taqueria or a dry-cleaning shop. Starting a small business is often a "step ahead for these hardworking, ambitious immigrants who may lack the language skills or formal educational credentials to secure good jobs in traditional workplace settings."
According to the Fiscal Policy Institute in 31 of the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, immigrants accounted for all of the net growth in owners of businesses in the retail, accommodation and food services, and neighborhood services sectors. "Although these are businesses that do not often get huge profits, they in fat play a big role in neighborhood revitalization, and they can be an important economic step up for the entrepreneurs," according to David Kallick, who conducted the report.
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By Andres Peña
President Obama will announce a major executive action on immigration reform on Thursday, the White House said today. In his address to the nation, president Obama will lay out his plan to fix our broken immigration system.The president will use an 8 p.m. EST address Thursday to announce his measures. The president will then travel to Del Sol High School Las Vegas on Friday and will sign the executive actions.
As many as 5 million people in the country illegally are likely to be protected from deportation and made eligible for work permits under the plan. This includes extending deportation protections to parents and spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in the country for five years. They would not have a path to citizenship, however, and a new president could reverse the actions in two years. Officials said the eligible immigrants would not be entitled to federal benefits, including health care tax credits, under Obama's plan.
The president also is likely to expand his 2-year-old program that protects young immigrants from deportation. The administration had considered extending the executive action to parents of young immigrants covered under the 2012 Obama directive, but immigration advocates said they did not expect the parents to be included in the final plan.
By Andres Peña
Immigration activists, frustrated with the rate of deportations under Obama and further exasperated with the delay in Obama's immigration action, have been urging the White House to go big and expand the deferred deportation order in a way that allows the maximum number of people to stay. But many who have been watching the process closely believe the eventual announcement will fall short of those appeals.
According to White House officials, any executive action is not expected to include broader use of so-called "parole" status. While some pro-immigration advocates support this idea, it is seen as a red line by many conservatives who view it as a potential way to provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens. Currently such parole status is provided to spouses and family members of people serving in the U.S. military. If the parents of children who are eligible under the current DACA rules were included, the number would rise to 3.7 million.
Changing those rules could also expand the eligible population: eliminating the education requirement, for example, would allow 430,000 more undocumented immigrants to be eligible for deferred deportation, according to the Migration Policy Institute. And allowing people over 30 who were brought to the United States by undocumented parents would allow another 200,000 immigrants to apply.
The White House is also considering a stricter policy that would limit the benefits to people who have lived in the country for at least 10 years, or about 2.5 million people. White House officials are still debating whether to include protections for farm workers who have entered the country illegally but have been employed for years in the agriculture industry, a move that could affect hundreds of thousands of people.
By Andres Peña
As early as this week, officials said, Mr. Obama is expected to announce plans to shield up to five million people from deportation and provide work permits for many of them. Mr. Obama’s actions come after a concerted lobbying campaign by immigration advocates demanding presidential action in the face of 400,000 deportations every year. The announcement of this plan could be pushed off until next month but not be delayed to next year.
According to administration officials who have direct knowledge of the plan, Mr. Obama’s executive action will be three-fold: order changes that will significantly refocus the activities of the government’s 12,000 immigration agents,protect illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children, and make clear deportation should still be the policy for convicted criminals.
A key piece of the order will allow many parents of children who are American citizens or legal residents to obtain legal work documents and no longer worry about being discovered, separated from their families and sent away. That part alone could affect as many as 3.3 million people who have been living in the United States illegally for at least five years, according to an analysis by the Migration Policy Institute.
Moreover, an expansion of Mr. Obama's "deferred action" program (DACA) that went into place in the summer of 2012 is considered to be a likely component of Mr. Obama's immigration action. DACA delayed deportation proceedings for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents as children.
Mr. Obama’s actions will also expand opportunities for legal immigrants who have high-tech skills, revamp the ‘Secure Communities’ immigration enforcement program, and provide clearer guidance to the agencies that enforce immigration laws about who should be a low priority for deportation, especially those with strong family ties and no serious criminal history.
The executive action Mr. Obama will take soon will far short of the overhaul envisioned by the Senate bill, and it will not provide any formal, lasting immigration status, much less a pathway to citizenship. Mr. Obama said that in recent months, he had received legal advice from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. about the limits of what he can do to reshape the immigration system. And at least for the next two years, Mr. Obama hopes, he can have authorities that can improve the system, can allow the government to shift more resources to the border rather than separating families, and therefore exercise his duties to improve the system that everybody acknowledges is broken.
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security will be addressing the Dream Act July 23, 2013. The committee will be working on proposing a bill that will address the “immigration Status of Illegal Immigrants Brought to the