Finance and Law

U.S. Immigration Policy is an Obstacle for Foreign Entrepreneurs

americanflagSince 9/11, U.S. immigration policy has experienced increased restrictions for foreign people entering the country compared to the past. Tighter security measures have taken place including fingerprinting, background checks and in-person interviews at consulates and embassies for visas. Although unlikely, immigration DNA testing can be a requirement in the future.

MIT’s Entrepreneurship Students

From a Forbes magazine column, Bill Aulet and Matt Marx teach an introductory entrepreneurship class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT. Both instructors envision a graduating class of American entrepreneurs. However, most of the students are foreigners with student visas. Thus, many MIT entrepreneurial students lack visas to work in the United States because they are not US citizens or permanent residents. Unfortunately, foreign MIT students are leaving entrepreneurship classes with academic insight rather than applying what they learn to the real world.

Work visas, especially the H-1B, are a sponsorship from companies to employ foreigners for open positions. Thus, Aulet and Marx argue that the current immigration policy does not support entrepreneurship for foreigners. Not to mention, foreigners cannot have majority shareholder rights in a U.S.-based company even if it employs 25 or more employees.

Aulet and Marx mention that Australia, Singapore and Canada have more welcoming immigration policies for entrepreneurs than the United States. Thus, Aulet and Marx are arguing that the United States needs to change and improve the immigration policy.

Three Suggestions to Alter the U.S. Immigration Policy and Sentiment

Based on their expertise on entrepreneurship, Aulet and Marx suggest three facets to change the U.S. immigration policy.

First, an entrepreneur visa, such as an EB-1 status, should be created as foreigners have innovative ideas and education to establish new businesses. Currently, the United States has a similar visa for scientists. Aulet and Marx refer to the UK’s recent creation of a visa for entrepreneurs as an example of what the U.S. should do to attract immigrants.

Secondly, the U.S. approach to immigrants should be welcoming rather than alienating them. Due to fingerprinting and background checks, foreigners may feel themselves being treated as crime suspects.

Finally, Aulet and Marx infer to the drastic nature of start-ups. Thus, both professors argue that the immigration policy should consider the needs of entrepreneurs by reducing bureaucracy.

Thus, Aulet and Marx prefer immigration as a tool to promote entrepreneurship, which will result in economic growth and new jobs in the United States.

Immigration is a Long, Complex Process

Due to bureaucracy, immigrant entrepreneurs will be required to submit various documents. Sometimes documents can be lost along the way, which can cause legal issues including overstaying and deportation. Additionally, visa status changes can be difficult due to different paperwork. Thus, immigration lawyers are around to help foreigners with visa and other issues.


White House Will Not Embrace the Dark Side

starwarsDespite the fact that it was one of the most popular online petitions ever put forward on the site “We the People,” President Obama has declared that the nation will not be constructing its death star. While the people in the original petition argued that this will help lead to a number of different jobs for contractors like those at Bergen County Contracting, the White House decided to deny funding to the prospective space station.

Intention of the Petition

The original petitioner shockingly wasn’t a noted Sith warrior (unless the “D” in John D stands for Darth Vader). Nor was it his explicit attempt to try and create a space station that will destroy the peaceful planet of Alderaan. If anything, the petition seemed to insist that ordinary, positive benefits would derive from a ludicrously extraordinary project.

The petition’s text noted that the 33,000 signatories wanted the funding and construction on the Death Star to begin by the year 2016. The premise was such a station would help ensure the United State’s superiority in space. It’s super laser would all but assure that no one would mess with the nation. Like all other massive spending projects the government has passed in the last few years, this would aim to create a number of both temporary and permanent jobs. After all, people would need to design the ships that launch into the atmosphere. Others would need to engineer the different processes. Then we would need people to actually construct the behemoth, spurring jobs in the faltering construction industry.

White House Response

Because the number of signatures exceeded the 25,000 that mandated the White House respond, Paul Shawcross responded on behalf of President Obama. Even the title signaled at the disappointment to come to die-hard Star Wars Fans: “This Isn’t the Petition You’re Looking For.”

Shawcross explained that, despite the limited benefits detailed in the original petition, creating a Death Star would actually run contrary to many of our goals. Initial estimates for the station exceeds $850 quadrillion. This would essentially bankrupt the entire world. That comes coupled with the fact that the Obama administration “does not support blowing up planets.” Then Shawcross pounds in the final nail: “Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?”

A New Hope

Despite unequivocally denying the construction of the Death Star, Shawcross highlights a few things that we should remain hopeful for. He explains that we already do have an amazing space station: the International Space Station (ISS). We already have robot technology at work and are looking to explore the depths of the cosmos using already available technology. NASA already has it’s own operating version of C3PO and DARPA is helping to make floating droids, quadruple-footed robots, and even robotic hands that would make any Skywalker proud. He points to all of this and offers that we can strengthen our nation through careers in the sciences.

“We are living in the future!” he says towards the end. “Enjoy it”

Derek is currently blogging for a company that produces 48v switching power supply products.

Image Credit: @Doug88888