America’s future is brighter with more people here contributing to it. Yet today’s immigration system keeps too many decent, industrious people from fully participating in the American experience, to the detriment of our country as a whole. We are determined to change that. Our system should treat immigrants as fellow human beings with dignity and respect. We should ensure those who would come to do us harm are prevented from doing so while, simultaneously, welcoming the overwhelming majority of immigrants who will add immeasurable value to our economy and our culture. We can have more immigration, a stronger economy, and safer communities.
Ultimately, we want a system that welcomes immigrants who will contribute to American society.
Our vision in action
- The LIBRE Initiative is uniting citizens behind policy reforms that will provide certainty for Dreamers. This includes major legislative and media efforts calling for bipartisan action in support of Dreamers and thanking champions on both sides of the aisle with the courage to lead.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook partnered with Charles Koch to write an op-ed in The Washington Post calling for Congress to act now on Dreamers. This is part of a broader effort to unite and amplify the voices of a diverse coalition of people who share our vision for immigration.
68 percent of Americans believe our country’s openness to people from all over the world is essential to who we are as a nation—and even more believe legal immigration should stay at the current level or increase.
Guiding principles and insights
More immigration. More culture. More American originals.
America is a nation of immigrants. Our culture is built on a foundation of immigrant genius. Immigrants invented blue jeans, basketball, and Budweiser. An immigrant wrote “God Bless America” while serving in the U.S. Army. Even the Statue of Liberty is an immigrant.
A clear process for legal status actually promotes assimilation by making it easier for immigrants and their children to find jobs, enroll in schools, and fully embrace the American Dream. Providing them with legal certainty and the ability to plan for their futures empowers them to work, study, join in public service, and recognize their potential to contribute to society.
Immigrants to America today are learning English at the same rate or faster than in the past.
More immigration. More innovation. A stronger economy.
Immigrants come to America to build a better life. This is the land of opportunity, and for more than 300 years immigrants from every corner of the globe have risked their lives for a chance to contribute to the fastest-growing economy in history. In fact, by increasing the customer base for U.S. companies and starting new businesses, immigrants create more new jobs than they fill.
Nearly half of all Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. Google, AT&T, Pfizer—all created by immigrants. According to analysis by the Center for American Entrepreneurship, “Immigrant-founded Fortune 500 firms are headquartered in 33 of the 50 states, employ 12.8 million people worldwide, and accounted for $5.3 trillion in global revenue in 2016.”
But what about the use of public services like education, healthcare, and welfare? The fact is, most immigrants contribute more in taxes over their lifetimes than they use in government benefits. Bottom line: more immigration means more jobs, more innovation, and more growth in the long run.
Nearly half of all Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children.
More immigration. Less crime. A safer America.
America is a nation of laws. Unfortunately, our immigration system is so convoluted that complying with the law is virtually impossible. A result is 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the shadows, and five million more are waiting in line abroad. Nearly half of undocumented immigrants entered the country legally and overstayed their visa.
More immigration via more respectable laws also helps keep America safe. In fact, according to the National Academy of Sciences, “Immigrants are less likely than the native-born to commit crimes, and neighborhoods with greater concentrations of immigrants have much lower rates of crime and violence than comparable nonimmigrant neighborhoods.” Improving the openness, transparency, and efficiency of our immigration system will ease the burden on law enforcement so they can focus their time and resources on keeping out those who pose a genuine threat.
There are over seven million job openings in the U.S. Meanwhile, nearly four million qualified, potential immigrants are currently stuck on the visa wait list, instead of contributing to the American experience.
More examples of the work supported by the Stand Together community:
- The LIBRE Institute offers English courses, economic empowerment sessions, and “pathways to citizenship” workshops to support immigrant families who want to learn, contribute, and succeed.
- University research on immigration policy and immigrants’ contributions to our country, and forums such as the Dreamer Conference with Cornell Law School to spark discovery of innovative solutions for future generations of immigrants.
- The Path Project offers mentorship programs to help immigrant children discover their talents and unlock their potential.
- The LIBRE Initiative hosts town hall meetings that bring together local leaders who represent all sides of the issue to have an open dialogue. From Arizona to Washington, D.C., these events aim to bring folks together and build a coalition to address the challenges and opportunities of immigration at the community level.
- Common Ground: Immigration is an experiential project that reveals the surprising truth about Immigration. Despite what we hear in the news, a majority of Americans actually agree that immigration is good, the system is broken, and we need to come together to fix it.
- In Fall of 2020, we partnered with chef Pati Jinich to conduct a recipe contest, inspired by the idea that food has the power to connect people and to bridge divides. People from the 50 states shared their favorite family recipe and the stories behind them. In Spring of 2021 we released “The Stories of Our Table“, a recipe e-book showcasing the top recipes that celebrate the culinary contributions and life lessons of immigrants in this country.
- Major marketing and communications efforts—including TV and digital ads, direct mail, and more—to tell the story of how immigrants contribute to this country, reflecting the beliefs of the vast majority of Americans.
- Build broad-based policy coalitions in Washington, D.C. to pass legislation that allows Dreamers to stay in the U.S. and curb proposals that would limit legal immigration levels, including by thanking lawmakers of both parties who are willing to work together and find common ground.
- Support policy champions at all levels of government who will put aside the politics of division and work together to address our broken immigration system.
- Unite policymakers of both parties to oppose policies that divide our communities and don’t make America safer, including the travel ban and family separation at the border.
Immigrants add immeasurable value to our economy and our culture. We want a culture that welcomes immigrants who will contribute to American society because immigration is good.