Immigrants: the new, high-tech entrepreneurs

July 22, 2009

Picture the founders of any big-name tech company in the U.S. and you’ll probably think of Twitter’s Biz Stone, or Apple’s Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates from Microsoft.

In other words: white American men.

But a report released this month reveals that 16 percent of high-tech, “high-impact” companies are founded by immigrants.

The study, commissioned by the self-proclaimed “business watchdog” Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration, is significant for a couple reasons. For one, consider the term “high-impact,” which describes firms with sales that have at least doubled over the most recent 4-year period, with notable employment growth. These aren’t fledgling gadget companies with no hope for survival.

Even more importantly, the research underlines the vital role U.S. immigration policy plays in entrepreneurialism — particularly in light of growing competition from emerging economies like China.  As the study points out, immigrant entrepreneurialism isn’t just on the rise, it’s driving job creation in a key industry and growth in the U.S. economy.

But immigration policy has some cracks in it, and it could be costly.  Says the study:

“Even those individuals who have a reasonable prospect of extending their stay in the United States may lack the certainty that they will be here long enough to be able to reap the benefits of taking the entrepreneurial ‘leap’ because of the way the immigration system handles their cases. As a result, their potential entrepreneurial contribution to the nation may be lost.”

One final note about immigrant entrepreneurs, lest anyone think they’re swooping into the U.S. to make a fortune before they fly the coop: a big chunk of them have been in this country for two decades or more, more than three-quarters of them are U.S. citizens, and two-thirds of them received undergraduate or graduate degrees in the U.S.

Is the U.S. doing enough to foster entrepreneurialism?  Share your thoughts below.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

The US is doing just the opposite by fostering socialism. China is the new frontier of business. The owners of the federal reserve system (rockefellers,rothschilds,et al.) have virtually bled the US economy to death by bankrupting the US govt. Now almost every american is soaked. There is no money left in the US unless assets are further liquidated. This liquidation has been occurring for a long time and has resulted in the burgeoning trade deficit. When the capital account declines because foreigners no longer believe the myth that US Treasury bonds are “risk free” or because Americans simply run out of hard assets to sell to finance current consumption, the trade deficit will be eliminated through us dollar depreciation. Watch reuters cover up any article that is negative about the federal reserve, cfr, trilateral commission, or obama. Watch the movie Obama Deception for a clear picture of where business in america is headed. Make your business international and avoid US taxes. Incorporate offshore.

Posted by robert | Report as abusive

No U.S is not doing enough to foster entrepreneurialism, why? because every thing in U.S is politics and politics is every thing.People came to a country to better their life’s so if given the chance they can do well. No country can grow by it self.

Posted by bignkeng | Report as abusive

Our Government does not govern. Everything is measured by a political yardstick. The government is politics, politics. There is a big difference in politics and governance. Good goverence fosters opportunities.

Posted by Jenny | Report as abusive

No, US is not doing enough to retain talents. For instance, take the US policy on legal immigration. It is the worst in any developed nation. People are waiting for more than 10 years for legal employment based immigration. Most of them will be beyond their prime time of their career by the time they receive their permanent residency (several years after that for citizenship). The number of talents that would be willing to venture into entrepreneurship will be limited after such a long wait for just permanent residency. US should focus on retaining young talents that are pursuing immigration using legal avenues. Immigration reform on illegal immigrants should be separated out from legal immigrants. the politicians at washington has no clue on how to fix the immigration mess.

Posted by kvisv | Report as abusive

It is funny to see this story; I think I am a very good example of the immigration mess in the US. I waited 8 years to gain permanent residency, couldn’t wait anymore and moved to Germany (surprising but Germany is a lot better for entrepreneur immigrants with in five years you gain permanent residency and three more years citizenship) opened my own company and now I am generating 8 million Euro sales annually, which is just a start. It is kind of sad to see that because I received full scholarships throughout college and I owe a lot to the network and education that I had in US. I was hoping to pay back by generating jobs and paying taxes in US but for the time being it is Germany benefiting from it.

Posted by Ivan | Report as abusive

No. A closer examination of immigrant entrepreneurship should be communicated. Why for example are these particular groups of immigrants so successful? Do Indian entrepreneurs hire offshore Indians to do the work? If so at what rate and what is the effect? My guess is many immigrant entrepreneurs hire offshore personnel at third world country rates. Is that wrong? No of course not. But the effect to the US economy is continuing erosion of wages and the middle class. Countries like India are growing and moving forward. The US needs to find a way to do the same. Maybe a little protectionism in our government policies would help. Why the hell are H1-B visas still coming in when we are going to hit 10% unemployment !!!

Posted by Gregory Ammermann | Report as abusive

Protectionism never helps in long run. I might look ok for narrow minded people. Business is like flowing water, it will find its way. When mixed with politics, it has no scope. We have proven example of people doing business in the region will lift the region, not matter where the work is done or labour is acquired. If other countries start following protectionism, business as we know it will come to a stand still. Think about it, Businesses taking cheap labor from India or China are also, on their way, helping coutries economy. Like IT people in india buying softwares/hardwares made by US firms to support their business. Manufacturing business in china buying high tech equipment made by US firms. Protectionism, come on wake up!!!!

Posted by HS | Report as abusive

The U.S. is doing everything that it can to prevent entrepreneurship. At the root of the problem is the U.S. public school system. It is designed to crush independent thought and to create unthinking, docile, cattle-like people who are easily herded and directed this way or that. That is why immigrates are more likely to become entrepreneurs. They or their parents have not been through the U.S. public school system. If we want more independent thinking people in the U.S., elementary schools need to start thinking of students as customers that need to be served, not as an homogenized product to be produced for the benefit of society.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

US is not doing enough to boose legal immigration, rather US policies are doing just the opposite.
I am a graduate from US, Masters in Computer Sciences, i have lived here in US for last 10+ years but i still donot know whether i will get immigration or not ? So is the fate for most people who graduated with me and others people i work with in industry. Most of my classmates including myself can and will buy houses, invest in businesses the moment we know about permanent immigration; but untill them as per visa requirements we cant work more than 40 hours, cant work on small business prospects. So overall US immigration and visa policies are going just the opposite of encouraging entreprenurs, motivating people to work hard and more rather it looks like immigration policies want educated people to go away, not invest in their future or country business but sit idle and wait for fate.
By the time a person gets employment based immigration he/she has lost 10-12+ years of youth, the youth where one can make not just one many business by working hard,learning more.

I hope this changes today than than tomorrow.

Posted by Dee | Report as abusive

No. US Immigration is badly broken, unless you are an illegal immigrant looking for amnesty. My small Canadian tech company launched a US-only product which took off and caused us to expand rapidly. We opened an office in Washington DC and hired ten Americans to staff it. The US office quickly became the profit center for my company. I applied for a visa to be able to move there to manage the company which was quickly shifting to be a US-centric company. US Immigration’s response? To ban me from entering the US for a year while the visa was processed, because they assumed I would be “working” there illegally. I could not attend sales calls, I could not attend conventions, I could not attend meetings – all of which I would otherwise have been legally able to attend. As a direct result of US Immigration’s actions against me, my company failed, and I had to put ten Americans out of work.

Posted by Thomas | Report as abusive

So the theory is emerging markets (third world countries) will buy US goods and therefore lift the US economy. In very general terms, this certainly isn’t the case now or in near term. This may eventually be true in the long run but the US economy needs to make it to the long run. I’m not an economist but importing workers (H1-B visas) while US unemployment is over 9.5% is illogical. Why not employ more US citizens who we know will spend the money here and now. 70% of our economy is (was) based on consumer spending. A former colleague of mine was from India. He was from an offshore firm working here temporarily. He had a computer bag that looked a little beat up. I said he needed a new one. He told me he bought it in India 9 years ago for $1 USD. It will be a very long time before these countries actually contribute to our economy. That is if the US actually still has one.

Posted by Gregory | Report as abusive

We have seen effect of Protectionism in coutries like India. When they did not open their doors for global economy companies like Coca Cola, Pepsico coluld not enter Indian Market. When India opened doors progress of Indian Market is visible. Coke and Pepsi has most of their business in India. What if India gets into Protecionism and ask Coke and Pepsi to shutdown business in India. Just think economy is down now, what will be effect on Economy, If coke and Pepsi doing business only in US.
Another question, is the 10% unemployed people can do job what H1b people are doing? Are they equally skilled to do job? If yes then why do we need to approve H1b. Company filing for H1b needs to prove that they did not find any US Citizen to do job. If they dont provide sufficient evidence H1b gets rejected.
If we adopt Protectionism now, we will go down more. Its a global economy …. and it should remain global….

Posted by YD | Report as abusive

I think this country is in a big dilemma. Government is not the only on to blame, there are those major corporations that can’t care less about the living standard of the American people. While they are asking the government to soften the immigration law to allow more H1-B visas, they are laying off the American workers or ship the job overseas. Believe me I have experienced it myself. I used to make a six digit salary in my field, then I got laid off twice, now I can’t get a job unless I am willing to work for slave wages and do the amount of work that five people used to do. That was when I decided to open my own business in an unrelated industry.
Yes, they are new immigrants like myself who help build this economy, but a lot of us unfortunately instead of hiring the American workers, they want to hire new comers so they can take advantage of their ignorance of the American labor law, and the saga continues on and on.

Yes, maybe the Germans are more open in allowing immigrants. That probably is because in Europe in general the native population workforce has not kept up with the demand, and some think it even diminishes. Believe me it won’t be long before you begin to see a backlash against those new immigrants when the native German workers feel their wages have been suppressed due the influx of new immigrants.

Posted by mycommt | Report as abusive

H1 visas are indeed taking work away from tech workers – I and many others I know who are over 40 were not hired because lower wage, much more compliant H1 workers were preferred.

Our school system is also to blame, foremost because natives must pay woefully inflated costs for a decent education, and are burdened by loans once they graduate, making it harder to start-up a company, whereas most immigrants are sponsored or on scholarship. Another depressing trend is the encouragement of soft and mythic subjects, like MAs in gender politics and MBAs in general as opposed to science.

Finally, the preference for illegal workers and the inordinate obstacles to legal ones, pointed out above, sets the tone for a country that rewards cheating rather than observance of the law – this informs every aspect of the lives of those who are here illegally, and demotivates both American citizens and those who would immigrate legally.

We should adopt a point system, including recognition of language fluency, like Canada, to ensure we attract the immigrants that will truly contribute to society.

Posted by karen | Report as abusive

Immigrants foster new ideas, innovation and energy in a place where following the herd is good enough for most. Their perspectives and opportunistic outlooks drive them as succesful enterpreneurs in this country. But sadly, this country is not doing enough to foster this talent. Rather than a legal immigration process that makes sense and which is efficient, the amount of bureaucracy involved in the present system would frustrate even the most driven. History shows that great countries are those that opened up their borders. US should do more to efficiently track and retain talent if it wants to be a leader among nations.

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive

I am sorry to say but these are all lies and propaganda. Do we call those that start one man body shops enterpreneurs? If guest workers were so great why is America in a bad economic mess. Americans and Permanent Residents are being discriminated against in their own country. You see jobs just targetting workers that are on H1b visas.
Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates told Congress last year U.S. companies “face a severe shortfall of scientists and engineers with expertise to develop the next generation of breakthroughs. If we don’t reverse these trends, our competitive advantage will erode.”


When it comes to employment, don’t believe a word that comes out of the mouth of Bill Gates or any other senior executive in the high-tech industry. Their goal is to create the impression that there’s a shortage of skilled professionals here in the U.S. in order to further inflate the number of H-1B visa workers allowed into the country. Companies like Microsoft bring immigrant workers into the US on H-1B visas and pay them a fraction of what an American worker would make. These workers are totally dependent on their employer to stay in the country; if they complain about wages they are simply terminated and have to go back home. It’s all an act by the high tech industry to increase profits at the expense of the American worker.

Posted by debug | Report as abusive

USA imports more cab drivers, grandmothers, illiterates and worthless people through family based chain migration system but treats well educated immigrants like dirt bags. There is a huge price USA will have to pay for this incompetence. 100 years from now, USA will not be a super power anymore, but will be just one of the many countries in the world, few steps closer to being a 3rd world country.

Posted by Vik | Report as abusive

Immigrants foster new ideas, innovation and energy in a place where following the herd is good enough for most. Their perspectives and opportunistic outlooks drive them as succesful enterpreneurs. Sadly, this country is not doing enough to foster such talent. Rather than having a legal immigration process that makes sense and is efficient our immigration process has so much bureaucracy involved that it would frustrate even the most driven. History shows that great countries are those that opened up their borders for new people and anew ideas. US should do more to efficiently track and retain talent if it wants to be a leader among nations.

Posted by Robin | Report as abusive

I am a legal immigrant and would like to contribute to this economy which has provided me good education and living, but not letting to me contribute by setting up my own business and the reason is legal immigration system is broken and I have been waiting for more than 8 years just to become permanent resident. may be you can raise a question why not set up business when you are on a non immigrant visa. I could, but the there are many other reasons which cannot be explained. I would recommend by saying provide easy path to legal immigrants and that would generate many jobs for the country. And I would try to make my self an example by setting up my own business. Good luck to all the legal immigrants.

Posted by Nash | Report as abusive

Washington really needs to think about comprehensive immigration reforms. Whenever there is a discussion about it, I see the focus on illegal immigrants. Looks like everyone is of view there is no problem at all what so ever with legal immigration.
This sucks. They need to change these policies to speed up the process so that more and more people can really invest and grow the economy rather than just speculating decisions from DOL and USCIS and keep waiting for decades.

Posted by Amit | Report as abusive

Entrepreneurship I want to start a small business but I can’t do any right now I have to wait for at least 5/6 years to start though I know I will have plans ready in 2 years.
It was possible for immigrants get PR in 2 years back until early and mid 90’s now its very bad. Of course I will blame the H1B firms that bring huge number and clog the system and the immigration system by itself is slow and its a legacy system need to change.
Hey sometime I wish I can go to mexico and jump over the fence and that will be a lot easier to get legalized.

Posted by REQ | Report as abusive

immigrants from asia in general are racist, they don’t mix with whites or blacks, hence, they should remain in there country to keep on practicing their caste system.

Posted by hugh | Report as abusive

One of the biggest drawback of immigration for entrepreneurs is the ten percent rule. If you have ever (i.e. at any stage of the company’s history) owned more than 10% of shares in a company, this company cannot sponsor you for the Greencard any more.
Now, every startup CEO owns more than 10% of shares in the early days of the company – so this makes it very, very difficult for CEOs to obtain a Greencard on the company sponsored track.
Apparently it’s not a binary rule, because in the end I got mine approved. But I had to go through a 5 year process (F1 – H1B – Greencard) and spend a total near $50,000 on legal fees.
In comparison, I applied to HK (as a backup to the US) and there it took me 9 months, no lawyer and $120 in fees to get a Quality Migrant Work Visa which entitles me to set up shop and live there. And then there’s only 15% income tax over there…

Posted by Christof | Report as abusive

I am an Asian (Indian) and still I agree with hugh about the people from Asia being rascist. Indians are probably the most rascist people on earth but they pretend that they are not. Even in this day and age they believe in caste system and take pride in them being from Upper caste.
I dont agree of REQ about the H1B being the issue. The issue is that the INS does not recognize the fake recuriting companies which suck up all the H1B visa and “sell” them to people from Asia. This needs to be changed.


Posted by Asian | Report as abusive

I worked in 3 start-ups and I am planning to start one on my own but I am still waiting for my Green Card (for nearly 9 years). It might take a decade before I become a PR. The problem is not totally the immigration policy but the department that handles immigration, USCIS. There is no accountability. The legal immigration procedure costs a ton of money and USCIS makes a lot of mistakes for which an applicant has to spend a ton to fix them. The department has wasted 300k visas over the last 10 years and that number is close to how many highly skilled legal immigrants waiting in the queue to get Green Card. Also two persons who filed for GC on the same day from the same company with similar roles might get GC 10 years apart.

Posted by Kiran | Report as abusive

I am a legal immigrant living in US for over 9 years now and it might take another 5-6 years before I get permanent residency. I have 2 masters degrees and a wealth of experience and wanted to start my own business, but I cannot start anything on full-time basis until I get green card. I love this country which has enriched my life and would like to give something back. But the legal immigration is so broke, and I am getting frustrated. I am afraid, by the time I get permanent residency I may not be in a position to achieve my entrepreneurial goals as my start up ideas become obsolete by then. I understand government has other priorities but 10 years is a long time to fix a problem by any yardstick.

Posted by kacey | Report as abusive

Whenever there is a talk about legal immigration, people start to rile against H1-B’s. Here are some facts about H1-B’s. Per hour rate for H1-B’s contractors is much more than a permanent employee. If you think H1-B’s drive down wages you are dreaming.

You may ask – Then why do companies hire h1b’s – 1) They want temporary labor to work on a project for 6 months/ 1 year 2) They want a person who is willing to commute/move if necessary. If you go and look in any job site u can see that no company is specifically looking for H1-Bs. In fact you can see more ads which say Citizens / permanent residents only.

H1-B’s work for cheap is just a myth. It is a plain simple fact that there is a skilled labor shortage in United States. We should work towards addressing it. Instead if you want to remove H1-B program immediately, you remove this huge pool of flexible labor which makes US businesses competitive.

Because of the way the H1-B program works, the compensation is not paid directly to the employee. It goes to various recruiting companies/body shoppers who take a huge percentage. In the end, the H1-B employee who works hard every day is not getting the best deal. Thats so unamerican. If at all, anything needs to change we need to look at making H1-B programs more employee friendly.

Posted by stephanie | Report as abusive

I have been in the US 10years, invested and started a tech company, employ us citizen and have a steady groth of 15 to 20% a year for the past 5 years.

And every 5 years I have to renew my visa and it can be terminated for lake of performance. This make the future uncertain and limit risk taking.

The us could do much more to foster highly skilled foreign entrepeneurs.

Posted by Philippe | Report as abusive

Same here. I have a few ideas and I’d like to start up on my own. In fact, I have pitched it to some angel investors and they are willing to fund.

But I can’t. Until I get my GC, which seems like 4-5 more years off. By that time, the idea will be just useless.

Posted by humvee | Report as abusive

It currently takes 10 years or more to get a green card. In that period an immigrant is not allowed to get promotions otherwise green card application can be rejected. Also immigrant need to keep ‘renewing’ the work authorization and get travel documents EVERY YEAR paying hefty fee. We really need to straighten out ‘legal’ immigration process. It it sad that legal immigrants are ignored and illegals get all the attention.

Posted by Engg | Report as abusive

I am an Indian living in the United States and I agree with some of the sentiments expressed here, specially, if the US unemployment rate is 9.5%, its lunatic to grant H1B visas to foreigners.
But, one thing that has to be kept in mind while making this assertion. All the jobs that were lost in last 2 to 3 years, most probably didn’t belong to PhD’s, engineers and Doctors. Legal immigrants (from India and China e.g) almost always take up jobs as PhD scientists, engineers or doctors. I guess what I am trying to say is all these jobs that were lost didn’t belong to the immigrants to begin with and all these H1B visas that are granted usually don’t encroach upon jobs of US citizens. They take up jobs that Americans don’t want. I find it hard to believe that the US government will give these visas if there was an American ready to take up that job.
I can give a specific example, the university that I am pursuing my PhD from offers admissions to at least 20 international students out of about 60 in total. The reason isn’t because the international students are so awesome but simply because not many US citizens apply for a PhD in Chemistry and they need to fill up their classrooms and labs.
My intention here is to simply bring the opinion of a legal immigrant to the table among all other worthy statements made so far.

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

it is a shame that many indians inspite of having very good moral chatacter when it comes to migrating to countries they will lie and cheat and do every immoral thing to come and bring there families and cheat the system that has been accepting of them and there families but greed always takes over and all these so called high character indians are found doing things unbecomst of there background and all those indians reading this post take this as a wake up call and costructive crticism and not finger pointing i am indian and at times ashamed to read where immoral indians are caught.its never too late .

Posted by SHIVA | Report as abusive

Steve jobs is of Arab descent…

Posted by Marrakech | Report as abusive

relax immigration policies let high tech immigrants stay here and keep US in position to lead if they have to leave the country the tech power will shift to other parts of world very easily

Posted by amulya | Report as abusive

Shiva, what in the world are you talking about?

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

we are giving green cards (GC) on lottery every year. We are ready to give citizenship to illegal immigrants but we are shying away to give green cards to individuals who have been living here for years legally and paying taxes. The signal that we are sending is that you will get GC easily, become citizen easily if you belong to particular country or if you are illegal. If you are leagal immigrant and pay taxes, create jobs, work hard, you are exploited by your employer and USCIS because of visa issues, you cannot get promotions because that can lead to your GC process in jeopardy, you keep on living in uncertainty, get the blame of cheap labor even when your client is paying much more money for your work than US workers but you are getting less because of middle man and visa restrictions and on top of it wait for GC for years.

Why do we even have employment based immigration? may be because this gives businesses, who can hire lobbyists and pay hefty donations to people that matter, right to exploit immigrants. We can have a law where if an individual or family has lived in US as legal immigrant for more that 5 years, paid taxes and does not have any criminal proceeding against him/her/them then they can apply for GC as individuals and there is no need of employer involvement.

Lets hope we get this kind of system and this will make sure that immigrants are not explloited. Immigrants will know that they will give GC if they are here for more than 5 years and they can plan for their future. USCIS can predict based on number of leagal immigrants entered 5 years ago to decide how many GCs are to be given etc. Win-Win situation for all.

Posted by Rajesh | Report as abusive

I personally think reform is needed. As a U.S citizen not too far removed from school I’ve seen the issues of my non U.S. friends in college dealing with the whole VISA situation. The schools charge crazy fees for international students, and the gov’t give them a year of OPT. H1 Visas, always seem like a goal too far away in some cases. I personally think that reform should start with rewarding those at the top of their class, or who rise above the rest with another way to work and become a citizen in the states. Personally if a company is interested in a qualified immigrant, there should be some terms regarding a long time employment including a measure of time after the immigrant receives their papers. What bothers me is the clamor about immigrants who come and don’t work..when there’s so many who come here, who become qualified educationally and skill-wise. But still do not get hired.

Posted by Big C | Report as abusive

I disagree with SHIVA. Indians dont lie or cheat. Infact if you look at H1B people in USA. They pay all taxes on time. They work extra hours , on fridays you will find indian people sitting in office and working late hours. Sometimes they get paid sometime not for extra hours.
Indians pay SSN taxes although they know they will never get it back. Indians will never utilize Healthcare facilities other than annual checkup , fever , cold. But still they will buy insurance with high premium best coverage.
When any tech project ends, H1B people get rolled off before US Citizen employees as H1B are contractors and highly paid. H1B employees are skilled workers with high pay.

I see SHIVA as confused person and talking irrelevant to topic of “Immigrants: the new, high-tech entrepreneurs”. This was answer to SHIVA.

My thoughts about Immigrants and Entrepreneurs, one of my friend who has got 25 yrs of experience as CEO of good firm in India wanted to start business in USA. So he came here on Business visa, invested huge and started software product firm which deals with Mobile phones. His business was picking up and in first few months it reached to few millions. Then he got L1 visa to get transfer he got it for 6 months. 2nd year his business picked up and had good growth and in six months he has to go back as his L1 extension got delayed. This was due to myth that Indian people are trying to take away jobs. Now its almost 6 months he is not in USA. If he would have been here , USA might have got taxes and he would have hired few US Citizens as his major area was marketing Mobile Software and he will always need US Citizen to do marketing. I feel sorry for USA. Now he is doing business at Europe and South Africa. Europe govt and South Africa govt are getting benefit of it by Taxes he is paying there.

Posted by YD | Report as abusive

America stop being a push over. It’s time that we give more rights to your OWN citizens…yes American Citizens for a change. Americans need jobs…stop listening that we need more guest workers (most of all they are not IMMIGRANTS). We were doing quite well without the guest worker visas…our economy was soaring, we were able to send a man to the moon. When the guest workers started working, our economy and standard of living have really gone down.

The only economy guest workers help is Walmart and Costco (they buy all their clothes there).

Posted by ConcernedCitizen | Report as abusive

Rampant population growth threatens our economy and quality of life. Immigration, both legal and illegal, are fueling this growth. I’m not talking about environmental degradation or resource depletion. I’m talking about the effect upon rising unemployment and poverty in America.

I should introduce myself. I am the author of a book titled “Five Short Blasts: A New Economic Theory Exposes The Fatal Flaw in Globalization and Its Consequences for America.” To make a long story short, my theory is that, as population density rises beyond some optimum level, per capita consumption of products begins to decline out of the need to conserve space. People who live in crowded conditions simply don’t have enough space to use and store many products. This declining per capita consumption, in the face of rising productivity (per capita output, which always rises), inevitably yields rising unemployment and poverty.

This theory has huge implications for U.S. policy toward population management, especially immigration policy. Our policies of encouraging high rates of immigration are rooted in the belief of economists that population growth is a good thing, fueling economic growth. Through most of human history, the interests of the common good and business (corporations) were both well-served by continuing population growth. For the common good, we needed more workers to man our factories, producing the goods needed for a high standard of living. This population growth translated into sales volume growth for corporations. Both were happy.

But, once an optimum population density is breached, their interests diverge. It is in the best interest of the common good to stabilize the population, avoiding an erosion of our quality of life through high unemployment and poverty. However, it is still in the interest of corporations to fuel population growth because, even though per capita consumption goes into decline, total consumption still increases. We now find ourselves in the position of having corporations and economists influencing public policy in a direction that is not in the best interest of the common good.

The U.N. ranks the U.S. with eight third world countries – India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Uganda, Ethiopia and China – as accounting for fully half of the world’s population growth by 2050. It’s absolutely imperative that our population be stabilized, and that’s impossible without dramatically reining in immigration, both legal and illegal.

If you’re interested in learning more about this important new economic theory, I invite you to visit my web site at where you can read the preface, join in my blog discussion and, of course, purchase the book if you like. (It’s also available at

Please forgive the somewhat spammish nature of the previous paragraph. I just don’t know how else to inject this new perspective into the immigration debate without drawing attention to the book that explains the theory.

Pete Murphy
Author, “Five Short Blasts”

Posted by Pete Murphy | Report as abusive

People who are under the impression that H1B workers are driving unemployment rates up have their facts messed up. Do you know that h1B workers amount to 0.28% of the workforce? We are none different than any American Citizen. The only difference being that we can’t vote. We pay our taxes, abide by the same rules. I have been in this country for the past 15 years, & I consider this my home. It would be tragic if I have to head back home since I’m so used to the American way of life & I love it. The immigration policies are another matter :)

Posted by Debasish | Report as abusive

My children mingle with all colors, do sleepovers and have fun and go to Hollywood movies like any other american kid whole nine yards. ….Not all is gloom and doom. We the Parents learn american accent from our kids more than from our colleagues.(in turn we teach them vocabulary!).Up front I want to say I have loads of good words for USA. (Responding to some posts, here, I am likely to look otherwise.)

The first generation immigrants pay a lot in living the ordeal of becoming perm residents as amply explained by others. They simply lost the ability to mingle beyond a point and worse, they forgot to enjoy life in general. They don’t know skiing, foot ball or the partying culture. I must say, almost all of them encourage their children to join their school mates without any insulation. No parent tells children that whites, blacks and Hispanics are bad. There are some practical issues which may impede the spirit of assimilation. Places of worship, movies / cultural events and a overall soft corner one harbors for ones nation of origin binds the first generation immigrants on a social level. I have a Russian friend, doing fine here, but misses Russia deep down he complains. Another first generation case.
Some bloggers with typical indian screen name accused of( indias) bias. Either they just forgot to see the ground reality or simply they refuse to realize the truth about contemporary India. Iam sure, they don’t even know the prime minister of India or sonias background or her son in laws faith.Mayawati and Narendra Modi and half a dozen other chief ministers belong to the deprived castes. Aandhra (Tirupati), tamil nadu and rajastan states s have made people of all castes (including dalits) train as Pujaris thru their respective universities and placed them in temples. Not watching news? Shocked? Yeah well. Its not a walk in the park back in India.
USA is lagging behind India in its ability to implement affirmative action to its minorities. BY excluding all the Asian kids across the board they have deprived all minority religions to enjoy benefits of the policy. Iam given to understand that only Hispanics and African americans get to enroll in the affirmative action plan (if am I wrong-please tell me so).
Agree a careful evaluation of immigration policy will be supported by all, including trimming the influx, provided all bias is eradicated. A national debate is welcome.

Posted by bharat | Report as abusive

[…] Reuters: Picture the founders of any big-name tech company in the U.S. and you’ll probably think of Twitter’s Biz Stone, or Apple’s Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates from Microsoft. […]

Posted by Immigrants: The New, High-Tech Entrepreneurs – Business Opportunities Weblog | Report as abusive

I am an American citizen and I can’t even get a small business loan. How dare immigrants complain about this!!! Then have the audacity to wine about the fees paid for visas, what do you expect??? How would you like it if Americans came over to your country and took your religion and jobs from you??? NO I AM NOT PREJUDICE, but I find it to be sickening that my children are no longer able to use the word GOD in the pledge of elegance at school, nor are they allowed to speak of GOD! The government took religion out of our schools because it is not acceptable and offensive to some immigrants. That boggles my mind and disgusts me. This country was founded on Christianity, so get over it, practice your religion and shut your hole! I understand that it is terrible to have to live in poor countries that you have no rights in, but don’t come over here and complain and take American rights like religion in PUBLIC schools away!!!!!!!!

Posted by brokeamerican | Report as abusive