Why President Trump Should Save the ‘StartUp Visa’ and Create Jobs in America

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Group of businesspeople in lobby

On June 21st, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Trump Administration is planning to scrap the International Entrepreneur Rule, known as the ‘startup visa’ rule, an Obama era program designed to help foreign entrepreneurs start companies in the U.S.

Scrapping the startup visa rule defies common sense for an Administration interested in creating domestic jobs and opportunity for U.S. Citizens as foreign entrepreneurs start companies that employ hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens.

As noted in our recent report on The Impact of Immigration on the U.S. Economy, 58% of Massachusetts-based Fortune 500 companies were founded by first or second generation immigrants. In Silicon Valley, 52.4% of startups are founded by immigrants. Nationwide, immigrants represent 24.9% of all new business owners and more than half of the startups valued at $1B or more have immigrant founders.

In 2015 Fortune 500 companies with foreign-born CEOs generated over $1.6 trillion in revenue, and those founded by foreign-born individuals generated over $1.8 trillion in revenue. These values are both larger than the entire GDP of Canada in 2015. Furthermore, in 2015, Fortune 500 companies with foreign-born CEOs employed over 4 million people worldwide and Fortune 500 companies founded by foreign-born individuals employed over 3.7 million people worldwide. Both of these numbers are larger than the entire population of Connecticut in 2015.

If the Administration is interested in U.S. competitiveness, vitality and employment, it would be prudent to review the data on the economic impact of immigrants on the U.S. economy before making policy decisions that reduce the flow of immigrant entrepreneurs into the U.S.