Busi­ness lead­ers crit­i­cise Trump plan to block Obama-era ‘startup visas’

Irish Independent - Business Week - - BUSINESSWEEK - By Justin Sink EMILY CHANG AND IS­ABEL GOTTLIEB

US PRES­I­DENT Don­ald Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion said it plans to re­scind a Barack Obama-era pro­gramme that would al­low for­eign en­trepreneurs who launch startup com­pa­nies in the US to live in the coun­try, in the pres­i­dent’s latest ef­fort to con­strict im­mi­gra­tion flows.

Known as the In­ter­na­tional En­tre­pre­neur Rule and favoured by many in the tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try, the pro­gramme would al­low non-US cit­i­zens who launched com­pa­nies that won $100,000 in gov­ern­ment grants or re­ceived $250,000 in ven­ture cap­i­tal in­vest­ment to stay in the US for a re­new­able 30-month term.

Fi­nalised in the last days of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, it was set to take ef­fect on July 17.

But the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced it would de­lay the pro­gramme un­til next March as the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity launches an ad­di­tional re­view of the so­called “startup visa”.

The de­part­ment in­di­cated that in the in­terim, the ad­min­is­tra­tion would pro­pose re­scind­ing the pro­gramme.

“Big mis­take,” said Steve Case, founder of Amer­ica On- line and now chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Revo­lu­tion LLC in­vest­ment fund. “Im­mi­grant en­trepreneurs are job-mak­ers, not job-tak­ers.”

The Na­tional Ven­ture Cap­i­tal As­so­ci­a­tion, an in­dus­try trade group, crit­i­cised the step.

“At a time when coun­tries around the world are do­ing all they can to at­tract and re­tain talented in­di­vid­u­als to build and grow in­no­va­tive com­pa­nies, the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is sig­nalling its in­tent to do the ex­act op­po­site,” Bobby Franklin, pres­i­dent and CEO of the trade group, said.


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