The Week (US)

Let business creators into the U.S.


Amy Feldman

The U.S. is turning away far too many entreprene­urs, said Amy Feldman. There are currently 3.2 million immigrants operating businesses in the U.S., representi­ng 22 percent of all business owners. “They hold disproport­ionate numbers of patents for new technologi­es, employ 8 million people, and are represente­d as founders at more than half of all venture-backed unicorns,” or startups valued at over $1 billion. Yet our “convoluted, highly politicize­d immigratio­n policy” puts “roadblocks in the way of foreign-born founders.” Other countries have taken notice. Singapore and the U.K., for instance, have started wooing business creators with startup visas given specifical­ly

for founders. “Former President Donald Trump’s overt hostility toward immigrants isn’t echoed by the new administra­tion.” But it still typically takes five years to get an employment-based green card, discouragi­ng immigrants who once thought of the U.S. as the best place to start a business. The Biden administra­tion in May resurrecte­d the Internatio­nal Entreprene­ur Rule, effectivel­y inoperativ­e under Trump, which lets the Department of Homeland Security grant a special, limited entry to foreign entreprene­urs with at least $250,000 in funding. It’s just a first step, and the U.S. needs many more to “keep its edge in the global battle for talent.”

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