Through impactful imagery and storytelling, the Economic Innovation Group’s “Immigration Policy is Innovation Policy” campaign puts faces to the country’s abstracted immigration debate while bringing needed attention to the vital economic role of skilled and entrepreneurial immigrants nationally and in their communities.
Immigrants are highly entrepreneurial and are responsible for founding one-quarter of all new businesses in the U.S. in a given year. They are also net job creators, generating millions of new job opportunities for American workers. Though millions of talented people around the world see America as the place where they can fulfill their full potential, current immigration policy prevents skilled and entrepreneurial immigrants from working or starting their businesses in the United States.
EIG is dedicated to advancing ideas that can help us attract and retain the global talent that can fuel American dynamism for generations to come. This project plays a critical role in highlighting the empirical evidence and real stories of immigrants and their outsized impact on the U.S. economy.
We believe strongly that empirical data paired with compelling storytelling can help to unlock and inspire new thinking and approaches. This campaign does just this by bringing together the statistics and the stories of how skilled immigrants fuel American dynamism through entrepreneurship, innovation, and community revitalization to elevate the benefits of skilled immigration. Through collaboration with Graphicacy (graphic and data visualization design and engineering) and Urban Emu (web implementation and social media graphic design), EIG designed an illustrative webpage to highlight the most compelling data on the impact of skilled immigrants and immigrant entrepreneurs across the U.S. The webpage also highlights findings from EIG's 2022 national survey, which found broad, bipartisan support among American voters for increasing skilled immigration to the U.S.
The immersive webpage is accompanied by three short, documentary-style videos developed by EIG and The DVI Group (video production) featuring immigrant entrepreneurs in their own words sharing the hurdles they’ve overcome while building their companies and navigating the U.S. immigration system. The highlighted entrepreneurs hail from diverse backgrounds and have founded highly innovative companies across several industries, which are generating dozens of jobs in their local communities and helping to spur innovation:
Mert Hilmi Iseri immigrated from Turkey to Chicago to attend Northwestern University. He is the Co-Founder of SwipeSense, a healthcare technology company helping to save lives and eliminate medical errors in hospitals across the country.
JJ Xu immigrated from China to Pittsburgh to pursue her MBA at Carnegie Mellon University. She is Founder and CEO of TalkMeUp, an AI-powered communication coach at your fingertips.
Aaron George immigrated from Dubai to Cleveland to attend Case Western Reserve University. He is the Founder and CEO of SupplyNow, which provides critical supply chain services to restaurants and suppliers in the Northeast Ohio region and beyond.
EIG shared “Immigration Policy is Innovation Policy” with 35,000 followers and subscribers via our website, newsletter, and social channels. In addition, EIG hosted an event celebrating the project launch and highlighting the outsized impact of immigrant entrepreneurs on American innovation and economic growth, which was attended by nearly 100 researchers, journalists, and policy advocates and featured opening remarks from Steve Case, Chairman and CEO of Revolution and Co-Founder of AOL, who is a longtime advocate for boosting skilled immigration to the U.S.
A growing body of leaders—including state and local policymakers, economic development officials, advocates, and other experts—are recognizing the need for enabling more talented skilled immigrants to move to and grow their businesses in the United States. For example, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a bipartisan resolution at their June 2023 Annual Meeting calling on federal policymakers to reinvigorate local economies across the country by welcoming more skilled and entrepreneurial immigrants.