Refugees voice’s story
For more than 200 years, the United States has welcomed new Americans to our shores. It is what makes America exceptional. It has kept our country young, dynamic, and entrepreneurial. The Obama Administration is guided by the core principle that being American is about more than what we look like or where we come from. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal — that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.
The United States has long been a beacon of hope and opportunity for people from around the world. Today, 41.3 million foreign-born residents live in the United States and are contributing to the vitality of our country and their communities. This includes the over 3 million refugees who have resettled here since 1975 from countries that span the globe.2 These immigrants and refugees are adding much to our country’s social and cultural fabric, and are also critical to our country’s continued economic prosperity.
While 13 percent of the overall population is foreign-born, 3 foreign-born workers represent close to 17 percent of the current U.S. labor force.4 Over the next 20 years, immigrants and their children will account for 85 percent of the net growth in the U.S. labor force.5 Immigrants are entrepreneurial, starting 28 percent of all new businesses.6 Moreover, a study by the Partnership for a New American Economy found that immigrants or their children have founded more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies, which collectively employ over 10 million people worldwide and generate annual revenues of $4.2 trillion.7