Tag Archives: Immigration

Why Immigration Drives Innovation

Economic history reveals one unmistakable psychological pattern.
By Joseph Henrich – When President Coolidge signed the Johnson-Reed Act into law in 1924, he drained the well-spring of American ingenuity. The new policy sought to restore the ethnic homogeneity of 1890 America by tightening the 1921 immigration quotas. As a result, immigration from eastern Europe and Italy plummeted, and Asian immigrants were banned. Assessing the law’s impact, the economists Petra Moser and Shmuel San show how this steep and selective cut in immigration stymied U.S. innovation across a swath of scientific fields, including radio waves, radiation and polymers—all fields in which Eastern European immigrants had made contributions prior to 1924. Not only did patenting drop by two-thirds across 36 scientific domains, but U.S-born researchers became less creative as well, experiencing a 62% decline in their own patenting. American scientists lost the insights, ideas and fresh perspectives that inevitably flow in with immigrants.

Before this, from 1850 to 1920, American innovation and economic growth had been fueled by immigration. The 1899 inflow included a large fraction of groups that were later deemed “undesirable”: e.g., 26% Italians, 12% “Hebrews,” and 9% “Poles.” Taking advantage of the randomness provided by expanding railroad networks and changing circumstances in Europe, a trio of economists—Sandra Sequeira, Nathan Nunn and Nancy Qian–demonstrate that counties that ended up with more immigrants subsequently innovated more rapidly and earned higher incomes, both in the short-term and today. The telephone, hot blast furnace, screw propeller, flashlight and ironclad ship were all pioneered by immigrants. The analysis also suggests that immigrants made native-born Americans more creative. Nikola Tesla, a Serbian who grew up in the Austrian Empire, provided George Westinghouse, a New Yorker whose parents had migrated from Westphalia, with a key missing component for his system of electrification based on AC current (Tesla also patented 100s of other inventions).

In ending the quotas imposed under the Harding-Coolidge administration, President Johnson remarked in 1964 that “Today, with my signature, this system is abolished…Men of needed skill and talent were denied entrance because they came from southern or eastern Europe or from one of the developing continents…” By the mid-1970s, U.S innovation was again powerfully fueled by immigrants, now coming from places like Mexico, China, India, Philippines and Vietnam. From 1975 to 2010, an additional 10,000 immigrants generated 22% more patents every five years. Again, not only did immigrants innovate, they also stoked the creative energies of the locals. more>


CONGRESS WATCH Immigration – Mac’s Video Mailbox July 11, 2013, YouTube [VIDEO 3:48] Related articles Updates from Congressman Mac Thornberry (blogs.strategygroup.net)


CONGRESS WATCH U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 113th Congress – 1st Session, US Senate Chambliss, Isakson Oppose Ending Debate on Immigration Amendment, US Senate Chambliss discusses flaws in the agricultural labor protion of the immigration bill (2/2), YouTube [VIDEO 30:39] … Continue reading

Senate approves immigration bill 68-32, sending battle to House

By Alexander Bolton – Senators took the rare step of voting from their desks to mark the occasion while Vice President Biden (D-Del.) presided from the dais. The Senate used the same formal procedure to pass ObamaCare three years ago.

Fourteen Republicans voted to end debate and not a single Democrat opposed it, a significant victory for Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the lead Democratic sponsor. more> http://tinyurl.com/ozu5pax



CONGRESS WATCH CBO Releases Two Analyses of the Senate’s Immigration Legislation The Economic Impact of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act S. 744, Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act Status of Discretionary Appropriations: … Continue reading

Irrational Immigration

By Kelly James Clark – Over 30 percent of the more than 300 Nobel Prize winners working in the United States have been foreign born. There are considerably more foreign-born US Nobel Prize winners than the next closest country’s total winners. The US is peerless in attracting and developing scientists and funding basic science and technology research. The United States is the Club Med for scientists around the world. Between 1950 and 1980, the US won 117 Nobel Prizes while Germany, a distant number two, won only 16. In short, the top minds in the world have found a home in the US.

But our scientific dominance is in peril. Some immigration officials treat top foreign-born scientists as though they might be terrorists, and with an unfortunate result: the US is now losing top scientists to other countries and may, as a consequence, lose its kick ass scientific edge. But, to be clear, this is not a competition for bragging rights. Foreign-born scientists create jobs (five on average for every foreign-born scientist), develop new and exciting patents (about 25 percent of US patents are granted to immigrants), and create startup companies (again, roughly 25 percent of recent technology startups). more> http://tinyurl.com/ot4xbws


Immigration bill gains momentum

By Alexander Bolton – The Senate’s Gang of Eight fended off a slew of poison-pill amendments aimed at the immigration reform bill, building momentum for the legislation that has sparked strong opposition from conservatives.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted down GOP-sponsored amendments to delay putting 11 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship and to dramatically increase the number of Border Patrol agents and surveillance vehicles. more> http://tinyurl.com/cbtopyp


The GOP’s immigration problem

By Bill Schneider – Republicans had an immigration problem nearly 100 years ago. A huge wave of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe – Poles, Hungarians, Italians, Jews – came to this country during the first two decades of the 20th century, before strict national quotas were imposed in 1924. These immigrants were largely Catholic and Jewish. more> http://tinyurl.com/d386hlr


How Marco Rubio Seeks To Cure An Old, Horrible, Secret Immigration Deal

By Ralph Benko – There was an unclean deal on immigration reform almost thirty years ago, details here revealed for perhaps the first time.  It needs to be cleaned up.  Rubio’s way is the right way.  The 1986 immigration reform legislation signed into law, by President Reagan, was based on a secret deal. That deal led to what Rubio, forcefully and correctly, has stated: “What we have in place — is horrible for America.”

Exactly what was the deal? According to a private conversation between this columnist and one of its negotiators, an understanding was reached in 1986 that future immigration would be restricted and that the restrictions would not be enforced. more> http://tinyurl.com/d3rzy2f


Immigration bill calls for slew of regulations, new bureaucracy

By Ben Goad and Kevin Bogardus – The sweeping immigration reform bill unveiled Wednesday (Apr 17) would bring a raft of new regulations and add more layers to the federal bureaucracy.par
The 844-page Senate bill calls for a dramatic expansion of the country’e2’80’99s worker verification system, an overhaul of visa programs and a new set of proposed regulations allowing undocumented workers to become ‘e2’80’9cregistered provisional immigrants.’e2’80’9d more> http://tinyurl.com/c9yvmhjpar