Dear Senators Kerry, Lugar and Udall;
On behalf of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), I am writing to applaud your leadership in introducing S. 565, the “StartUp Visa Act” and to offer our endorsement of this legislation.
TIA is a leading trade association for the information and communications technology industry, with over 500 member companies that manufacture or supply the products and services used in global communications. Our member companies have long supported legislation to update our nation’s system for awarding visas to foreign workers. Your legislation provides a thoughtful and innovative way to accomplish what should be a universal goal of attracting the best and brightest minds in the world and enabling them to do business in the U.S.
The United States has a long history of innovative entrepreneurs who have changed the world. It should be U.S. policy to attract and enable to the next generation of entrepreneurs to start their companies here and your legislation provides an important tool to make this a reality.
Again, on behalf of our companies, TIA appreciates your strong bipartisan commitment to and leadership on this legislation and we look forward to working with you to enact this legislation this year.
The arts and creative industries have long benefited from the contributions of foreign-born artists and other creative professionals. While this bill is not without its flaws (especially related to the investment requirements), we believe it makes an important statement that the US can be a fertile ground for innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship.
Foreign-born entrepreneurs in the U.S. are increasingly active in creating jobs for Americans in the U.S. Fast-growing companies have long been the main source of new jobs and innovation in the United States. Companies such as Google, Pfizer, Intel, Yahoo, DuPont, eBay and Procter & Gamble are all former start-ups founded by immigrants. Foreign-born residents made up just 12.5% of the U.S. population in 2008, while nearly 40% of technology company founders and 52% of founders of companies in Silicon Valley are foreign-born. However, U.S. immigration policies are forcing foreign-born startup founders with venture capital and employees out of the country, effectively sending thousands of high paying knowledge jobs overseas for no reason. The StartUp Visa Act spotlights entrepreneurs who are already integrated into American business or research culture (since they are lawfully present, working for a U.S. organization or conducting graduate research here). The StartUp Visa Act will create jobs and increase America’s global competitiveness. We urge lawmakers to support S. 565/H.R. 1114.
NVCA is pleased to report that a new bi-partisan bill has been introduced in the Senate that is aimed at bringing and keeping the best and brightest entrepreneurs from around the world here in the United States. Introduced by Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Mark Udall (D-CO), the StartUp Visa Act of 2011 will permit entrepreneurs to come to the U.S. or to remain here after completing university studies if they meet certain criteria, including receiving investment in their businesses from a qualified U.S. investor. This would include venture capital dollars.
While I am fond of Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Richard Lugar (R-IN), and Mark Udall (D-CO), all valuable members of the Senate, there is an air of unreality about the immigrant entrepreneur bill that they have introduced.
The twin premises behind the legislation, which I question, are that innovative potential immigrants who want to come to the U.S. are not coming because of the current laws, and that this legislative proposal will take care of that alleged problem.
David North's blog post at http://www.cis.org/north/immigrant-entrepreneur-bill