There has been a significant amount of recent media attention which focused on the idea of creating long-term business in the United States through utilizing foreign born entrepreneurs and highly skilled workers. There are some valuable ideas regarding the United States immigration system that I felt would be worthwhile to elaborate upon. Let’s explore two proposed ideas that are designed to help foreign born entrepreneurs start businesses in the United States and highly skilled workers to invigorate the American economy.
- Examine the benefits of implementing a “startup visa” that can benefit foreign entrepreneurs.
- Increase the quota for high skilled workers who enter the country.
Others Share This View
There is no denying the vital role that immigration has played in making the United States what it is today. There are many excellent organizations that are working to find solutions to the current immigration oversight. These organizations include FWD.US, Renew Our Economy, as well as others who are pioneering the idea of the Start-up Visa.
Benefits of ‘Startup Visas‘ for Entrepreneurs
Current United States policies on immigration are not adequately encouraging foreign-born start-up founders who have capital and employees working in other countries to maintain business into the U.S. In essence, thousands of high paying, highly skilled jobs are being sent overseas. Foreign-born entrepreneurs should have the benefit of locating their companies in the United States, creating jobs in the United States, and adding to the innovation and economy of the country that is being lost.
Fortune 500 Companies
It may be a surprise to many of us that 2/5 of the Fortune 500 companies in the United States were created by or with support from foreign born professionals and their children. A significant amount of the small business growth in the United States is the result of the efforts of foreign born individuals. What benefit comes from preventing legal aliens from coming to the United States and creating new jobs? Any trepidations that accompany the thought of increasing immigration should be outweighed by the obvious benefits.
One problem is that currently there is no visa that is specifically made for foreign born entrepreneurs. For this reason, many are deciding to move to other parts of the world and set up their businesses where they receive greater incentives.
Increasing the Quota of Highly Skilled Workers
One of the biggest problems that the tech industry in the United States faces is the lack of highly skilled workers. Tech companies are having a hard time finding candidates who have the education and expertise necessary to perform the work needed and so, they outsource the work to other countries. This does not help the United State’s economy or long-term global economic position. Foreign born workers and companies consistently petition for a high volume of high skilled visas every single year. But due to current federal guidelines, USCIS is forced to select applications at random for approval. For FY 2016 USCIS received 230,000+ applications vying for a mere 65,000 available H1B visas. The amount of applications received over the 65K cap is increasing every year, and the U.S. needs to adjust to this trend with urgency in order to ensure a stable and highly skilled domestic workforce.
Arguments Against Highly Skilled Foreign Workers is Lacking
It seemed as if Congress would potentially raise the quota earlier this year, but this initiative was shut down by trade unions and members of both uncooperative political parties. One popular argument is that foreign-born high skilled workers are willing to come to the United States and work in the science and technology industry for lower pay. In this situation, these workers would take away valuable positions from U.S. born workers.
While this argument may carry some weight, when discussing low skill jobs, it is not true at the other end of the spectrum. Highly skilled developers and engineers will be paid the same salary regardless of what country they come from. It should be clear to us all that this quota must be raised in order to satisfy the current demand in our country.
Our future actions should be clear – we need to welcome foreign born entrepreneurs and highly skilled workers to the U.S.
Beeraj Patel, Esq.
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