The Obama administration’s proposal will include a path to citizenship for the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants – and idea opposed as amnesty by Republican critics.
President Barack Obama plans to push for a comprehensive immigration plan that includes a legislative solution to issues such as undocumented immigrants, according to administration officials. The administration’s proposal will include a path to citizenship for the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, according to officials – and idea opposed as amnesty by Republican critics.
Separately from the White House, a bipartisan group of senators, headed by Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have been working on a parallel bill.
Obama won 71 percent of Latino voters in the 2012 election, a victory that left Republicans willing to take up the immigration issue as a way to change their image with the fast- growing demographic group. National exit polls showed that 10 percent of the electorate was Latino, compared with 9 percent four years ago and 8 percent in 2004.
Immigrant-owned businesses employ one in 10 U.S. workers in private companies and contribute more than $775 billion of revenue to the nation’s economy, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy. The businesses generate about $125 billion in payroll, the nonpartisan advocacy group of 450 mayors and business leaders said in a report last August.
The report, written by Robert Fairlie, an economics professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, analyzed U.S. Census data, including national population and business- owner surveys, to conclude that immigrants, who account for 12.9 percent of the population, started 28 percent of all new U.S. businesses in 2011. In 1996, immigrants founded 15 percent of all new businesses, the report said.
Immigrants are more than twice as likely to start a business as the native-born, according to the report. In 2011, the immigrant business-formation rate was 550 new businesses per month for every 100,000 immigrants, while the native-born rate was 270 for every 100,000, according to the report.
The U.S. spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement last year, more than all other major federal criminal law enforcement agencies combined, according to a Jan. 7 report by the nonpartisan Washington-based Migration Policy Institute.