Immigration: One step closer to curing cancer?

A recent article from Forbes shared some of the lesser-known facts of high-skilled immigrants in the United States. The article shed light on an important statistic found through a 2013 study : 42% of America’s top cancer researchers are immigrants. The study looked at biographies of 7 of the top research facilities in the US (defining the “top” ones by the amount of funding they receive from the National Cancer Institute) to come to their conclusion. The Forbes article makes the claim that “Immigrant scientists have played an important role in improving the cancer survival rates experienced by Americans.” A look at the data shows that they might be onto something:


Based on the data, the number of legal permanent residents in the US and the 5-year cancer survival rate has a moderately strong positive correlation. In other words, as the number of legal immigrants in the US increases, the percentage of people in the US living at least 5 years after being diagnosed with cancer also increases. Correlation does not indicate causation, but it does show the strength of this relationship. It is possible that this relationship might be even stronger if it were to compare the relationship of cancer survival rates and immigrants coming to the US specifically on H1-B visas (however there is a lack of available historical data for this).

Since the EB-5 program does not require investors to have any specific skills, why is any of this relevant for an EB-5 investor?

Although there are 10,000 visas available each year through the EB-5 program, about 65% of that total is actually representative of the investors’ family members, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. Many EB-5 investors are coming to the United States in order to provide better opportunities for not just themselves, but their children. As the baby boomer generation ages, overall life expectancies are increasing, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires more people to receive medical care, there is a growing need for young people to pursue medical careers.

This need not only presents opportunities for EB-5 immigrants or their children looking to pursue a career in this field, but also works favorably to demonstrate the benefits immigrants provide to the US. In this time when immigrants face uncertainty because of impending reforms, it is reassuring to know that there is a huge demand for people pursuing medical careers and data that shows immigrants’ contributions to the US can have positive impacts on future legislation.

To learn more about LCR and LCR’s projects, contact one of our team members in one of our various offices around the world.


Data is from the Department of Homeland Security and National Cancer Institute

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