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Paul Ryan: 'immigrant-owned small businesses employ 4.7 million people'

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan in cowboy boots in 2012.
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan in cowboy boots in 2012.
Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

Rep. Paul Ryan believes that the immigration system in the U.S. is "broken," and this weekend added that there is "doubt" about whether or not Congress will be able to pass a bill on immigration reform.

From Ryan's official House webpage on the matter, he states that the system is "broken" and adds that "the evidence is overwhelming." He states that the immigration system should be more accountable, efficient, and effective. Also, he cites two facts on the matter:

"First, 11 million undocumented immigrants are living in the United States. Because they lack legal status, they are outside the scope of the law. We don’t know who they are or in what activities they are involved. Second, we encourage people to break the law and punish those who follow it. Immigrants who attempt to come to this country by legal means find themselves wrapped up in endless paperwork and bureaucracy. The current backlog for family-sponsored visas is so vast that it could take up to 11.5 years for the visa to be processed. As of November 2012, 4.3 million persons stood in the family-based visa queue."

And in an interview which aired Sunday on ABC's This Week, asked if there would actually be a bill for President Barack Obama to sign on the immigration issue, according to a transcript provided by ABC/ThisWeek, Ryan stated:

"I really don't know the answer to that question. That's clearly in doubt,"

He further told ABC anchor, George Stephanopoulos, that the thing which the Republican party did agree upon was that "... we don't trust the President to enforce the law."

But the Congressman, who was a Vice Presidential candidate in 2012, also believes and states clearly on his web page that reforming the immigration system "... will help America." Ryan writes:

"Immigrants contribute to our economy. They started one-fourth of all new businesses in 2011. And immigrant-owned small businesses employ 4.7 million people. In fact, first- or second-generation immigrants founded 40% of all Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, Kraft, Google, Yahoo!, and eBay. As a result, the American Action Forum estimates that immigration reform will boost per capita income by $1,700 over ten years and reduce the federal deficit by $2.7 trillion."

Adds Ryan:

"Most countries use immigration to strengthen their economies—but we don’t. In the U.S., only 7% of green cards went to work-based immigrants in 2010, but the vast majority of visas in other countries, like Canada and Australia, are directly aimed at work-based immigrants that can boost the economy. We give out visas based on people’s family connections, not their talents or skills. We are missing out and falling behind."

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