A recent study found that about half of unicorns in the U.S. owe their existence to immigrants. In this case, by “unicorn,” we mean highly successful, fast-growing startups—not magical creatures. The study, conducted by the National Foundation for American Policy, determined that 44 out of 87 privately held companies valued at more than $1 billion had at least one immigrant founder. It further estimated that each of these immigrant-founded companies created 760 jobs.
This is just one example of how, contrary to much of the rhetoric on the topic, immigration can contribute to economic growth and expansion of the labor market. Academic studies have found that immigration to the U.S. has little negative effect on employment levels of native workers and that the presence of immigrants is associated with greater economic productivity. Another study found that foreign-born graduate students in science and engineering departments at U.S. universities contribute to innovation and research production.