New Americans are workers, inventors, business owners, and asset holders. New Americans are the fastest growing sector of the workforce and propel key industries that are vital to our economic future. Immigrants comprise 13 percent of the U.S. population but 17 percent of the labor force. Between 2002 and 2012, more than half of the growth in the entire U.S. labor force was due to immigrants.
Labor is a source of collective power for immigrant and refugee communities and the foundation for economic and social mobility. Yet, immigrants are disproportionately employed in lower wage and dangerous jobs. They face particular challenges based on English proficiency, limited opportunities in education and training, lack of professional networks; predatory lending practices; and, the overwhelming challenge of accessing education, job-training, and advancement opportunities while working multiple “survival” jobs with insufficient pay and unstable schedules.
NPNA believes that workers at every level and of any immigration status should be afforded opportunities to advance, treated with dignity, paid fairly, and protected against abuses in the workplace.
We must focus on growing a vibrant and vital economy for all by:
- Ensuring access to a living wage and protecting workers’ right to organize
- Increasing New Americans’ access to workforce development programs
- Supporting New American asset building
- Developing a streamlined program for professional immigrant integration
- Addressing temporary and skilled worker needs