America, the great melting pot, is a country founded by immigrants. In fact, even today, one in every four people who live in the U.S. is either a first- or second-generation immigrant. Immigrants have enriched and strengthened this country for generations, both culturally and economically.

However, in spite of these facts, common misconceptions continue to persevere regarding immigrants living in America – one of the most frequent being they are a drain on society. But contrary to these beliefs, immigrants bring substantial value to this country in a multitude of ways.

Job-makers, not takers

Not only are there no studies that prove immigrants take jobs from Americans, but immigrants are actually more likely to launch a business than native-born Americans. Immigrants make up only 17% of the workforce, but according to George Mason University, they file for one-third of all patents in the U.S. and account for over one-third of all U.S. workers with a PhD in science, technology, engineering or math.

What’s more, is immigrants are more likely to take jobs in industries where there is a need for workers. Without them, shortages of workers could otherwise slow industry growth.

Vital to the economy

In a short decade, the older baby-boomer generation will outnumber the working class for the first time in history due to lower birth rates. Without the contributions from immigrants to the economy, it’s estimated that the Social Security Trust Fund would not be able to pay out full benefits to older Americans after 2037.

Immigrants sustain our workforce and ensure that older generations get the benefits they are entitled to. But more than that, they are hardworking entrepreneurs who better the communities they call home.