New Jersey Business Immigration Coalition
Fall, 2020
News and Views

Pursuing Bipartisan and Evidence-Based Immigration Reform

The Biden Victory
and Immigration Policy
Blog post by Nicholas V. Montalto
November 9, 2020

The election of Joe Biden marks a major turning point in the history of immigration policy in the United States. His immigration plan, which has six broad objectives outlined below, appears to reflect his commitment to the goal of immigration reform. The objectives are:

  1. Undoing many of the actions taken by the Trump administration,
  2.  Modernizing the overall immigration system,
  3.  Promoting welcoming policies in local communities,
  4.  Reasserting the nation’s commitment to refugees and asylees,
  5.  Tackling the root causes of irregular migration, and
  6. Implementing effective border screening.

Although many of these goals will garner strong support from the business community, progress in some of these areas will require the revival of a bipartisan approach to immigration reform, especially if the Senate remains under Republican control. This will be no easy task, as the parties have drifted far apart on immigration-related issues. Some have described the division as a “study in contrasts,” a “schism,” and a “giant policy vacuum.”

President of Rowan University Named 2020 Immigrant
Entrepreneur of the Year

Dr. Ali Houshmand, President of Rowan University, was named the 2020 Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year by the NJ Business Immigration Coalition (NJBIC) at an online event hosted by the NJ Business and Industry Association and Einstein's Alley on October 15. Rising from abject poverty in his native Iran, Dr. Houshmand, who became president of Rowan in 2013, has transformed the University from a well-regarded state college into a rising Carnegie-classified national research university with two medical schools. During his tenure enrollment has grown from 11,000 students to 19,600 today, thanks in part to strong partnerships forged with community colleges in south Jersey. Rowan has also become an economic engine in the region, as evidenced by the development of Rowan Boulevard in Glassboro, a model of public-private partnership that has revitalized Glassboro’s downtown area. In addition to the award to Dr. Houshmand, NJBIC also presented awards to four other outstanding immigrant entrepreneurs in the categories of Growth, Innovation, Community Engagement, and Rising Star. Here is a list of our other honorees:



Community Engagement

Rising Star

Raj Sahu, CEO, Connexions Data Inc., Paramus, NJ (India)

Shuguang Sunny Wang, Managing Director, Broad USA, Hackensack, NJ (China)

Mahesh Yadav, CEO, Optima Global Solutions, Lawrenceville, NJ (India)

Hussain Bootwala, President & CEO, Haz International, Inc., Edison, NJ (India)
The Pivotal Role of
Immigrant Entrepreneurs as Job Creators
A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), one of the most influential economic think tanks in the country, explores the often overlooked process of immigrant job creation Too often, according to the authors, economists only examine the extent to which immigrant workers displace native-born workers. As a result, they reach conclusions that fail to take into consideration the broader benefits of immigration. Even with this narrow view, traditional economic theory is often thrown on its head by puzzling realities, as when the influx of Cubans during the Mariel boatlift did not lead to negative effects on local wages, or when areas with large concentrations of immigrants seem to outperform less immigrant dense parts of the country. Using a variety of records to study firms founded in the U.S. between 2005 and 2010, the NBER researchers find that immigrants appear to “create jobs” (expand labor demand) more than they “take jobs” (expand labor supply). The authors contend that it is crucial to study immigrants as both workers and entrepreneurs to get the full picture of immigrant contributions to the economy. Moreover, contrary to stereotype, immigrants do not just start small firms. “Rather, they tend to start more firms at every size, compared to U.S. born individuals.” Moreover, wages in immigrant-founded firms tend to be comparable, if not slightly higher, than in other firms. A non-technical summary of this paper may be found on the website of the Wharton School.
In order to rebuild Canada's economy after the pandemic, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada will increase the country's annual immigrant intake to 401,000 in 2021 - an increase of 50,000 from its pre-COVID level.

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Many groups, including the American Hospital Association, the American Library Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have expressed opposition to President Trump's September 22 Executive Order 13950 on Combatting Race and Sex Stereotyping. Here's a link to the Chamber's statement.

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New Jersey is one of eight communities around the country selected to participate in a technical assistance project sponsored by the Global Talent Bridge Program of World Education Services. The purpose of the project is to improve efforts to integrate skilled immigrants into local economies.

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GET INVOLVED: We want to hear from you!

  • Check out our policy platform here and if your company or organization (or you as an individual) agrees with our principles for immigration reform, sign up as a member of the coalition.

  • Share your thoughts on the immigration reform challenges facing the United States. How is your industry affected? What specific reform proposals are you championing? Write us at:
The New Jersey Business Immigration Coalition,
c/o Einstein's Alley, P.O. Box 165, Plainsboro NJ 08536,