The Decline

The trend of immigrants founding companies in the United States has begun to reverse.  In an article by Vivek Wadhwa, author of the book “Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent,”  we can see that current policies are causing fewer immigrants to create startups in the United States.

In a study from 2007, it could be seen that immigrants were key members of over 50 percent of the starups in Silicon Valley since 1995.  However, a new study has shown that this number has declined since then, as fewer potential immigrant entrepreneurs are willing to deal with the visa laws and immigration limbo.

One of the biggest problems is found in the bottleneck in the employment based visa process.  Two of the biggest contributing nationalities, the Chinese and Indians, face at least ten years in immigration limbo when applying for their green cards.  This is due to a maximum of 7 percent of these green cards being allocated to each nation, and China and India have a disproportionately large number of hopeful immigrants, comprising more than half the skilled immigrant labor force.  The current policies also force the immigrants who are waiting in “limbo” to stay in companies who sponsor their visas, limiting their potential for innovation.

Much like our own proposal, Wadhwa impresses the importance of a startup visa act, saying that keeping the talent in the United States could create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, helping the economy get back on its feet.


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