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Contribution of Foreign Nationals to the U.S. Economy

The population size and diversity of immigrants in the United States has increased over the years. In 2018, it was reported that immigrants living in the U.S. accounted for 13.7% of the U.S. population. In the last few years there has been an increased focus on immigration, particularly looking at whether foreign nationals burden or strengthen the country’s economy. This highlighted interest in immigrants and their contribution to the U.S. economy is largely due to the vast immigration policy changes the U.S. witnessed under the Trump Administration.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019 immigrants made up 17.4% of the U.S. labor force. These foreign nationals occupied various managerial and service-based occupations in the U.S. The data further indicated that immigrants with a college degree held jobs that were pertinent to the U.S. economy and communities. For foreign nationals without a college degree, it is said that they contribute to the economy through their employment in service industries, to name a few industries; farming, landscaping, and plumbing. Therefore they add value to the U.S. economy through their hard work and dedication.

Foreign nationals have continuously assisted in filling key gaps in the U.S. economy. In a research report by the National Academy of Sciences, it was determined that the economic contributions of immigrants would be hard to replace as they are not only seen holding high level positions, but also serve as low-skilled laborers. Foreign nationals increase the competitiveness of jobs and at times create a surplus in the labor supply through their entrepreneurial impact in the U.S. This was proven through a study conducted by the Center for American Entrepreneurship which stated that 43% of companies in the 2017 Fortune 500 were founded and co-founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.

There has been a long held notion by some U.S. citizens that immigrants take jobs from U.S. persons. This misconception has deterred U.S. citizens from looking at the situation holistically. The assumption that foreign nationals take jobs alludes to the notion that there are a fixed number of jobs available. For example, the EB-5 immigrant investor program requires $500,000 capital investment and that the investment must generate a minimum of 10 jobs for U.S. persons. The program requires the direct injection of capital into the U.S. economy and the addition of jobs to the U.S. labor market. This program alone provides secure employment for U.S. citizens with the help of capital obtained from foreign nationals.

Albeit, not all foreign nationals enter the U.S. via the EB-5 immigrant investor program therefore not all are required to fulfil the EB-5 program requirements. However, all immigrants are subject to the U.S. tax laws. Foreign nationals working and residing in the U.S. are required to pay U.S. taxes. The immigrant workforce pays taxes into Social Security and Medicare which support the nation’s senior population.

The economic benefits of immigrants are long lasting and evidently contribute to the growth of the U.S. economy. Immigration should not be seen as a hindering factor to the growth of the U.S. economy but as a stimulation and a tool for the economy to remain a superpower. Thus the relationship between the U.S. economy and foreign nationals is mutually beneficial and holistically works towards creating a better future for the country.

The Biden Administration evidently sees the value and contributions of foreign nationals into the U.S. economy with their plans and policies to make the U.S. more accessible. Programs such as the E2- Treaty visa, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program and the Immigrant Entrepreneur program are innovative ways to ensure that there is a constant injection of capital into the U.S. economy without costing the U.S. taxpayers.

The American Legal Center, a team of U.S. licensed lawyers are the leading EB-5 experts in the Middle East Region. They constantly hold monthly seminars that educate investors on the EB-5 program and how foreign nationals that are looking to invest in the U.S. can participate in the program.


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