Myths vs. Facts: Setting the Record Straight on Immigration

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015, 5:30pm

by David Isaacs, Vice President, Government Affairs

When it comes to the immigration debate in Washington, too often the facts get lost in the rhetoric. To set the record straight on immigration, SIA and a group of 18 other industry leaders have developed a document titled “Debunking the Myth that Immigration Harms America.” The document, which was presented today at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, examines and discredits a series of common misconceptions about immigration.


One such myth is that lowering the number of immigrants would free up jobs for American workers. In fact, immigration helps create jobs for American workers. A study by the American Enterprise Institute found that 2.62 jobs are created for U.S.-born workers for each foreign-born worker in the U.S. with a U.S. STEM graduate degree.

Additionally, while it’s frequently thought that foreign STEM workers displace American STEM workers, employment data show that there are not enough U.S.-born STEM workers to fill available STEM jobs. As a result, foreign-born STEM workers are simply filling the void and helping to kick-start growth and innovation in the U.S. A 2012 report by Change the Equation, a nonpartisan education advocacy organization, found that from 2009-2011, during a time of depressed employment, 1.91 STEM jobs were posted online for every one unemployed STEM worker looking for work in the United States.

Economists, researchers, and experts at top universities – as well as the majority of Americans – overwhelmingly agree that legal immigration boosts America’s economic strength and global competitiveness. It’s time for policymakers in Washington to get the facts on immigration and work swiftly to enact meaningful immigration reform.