The Obama Administration announced recently that it would promote several tools, all available under existing immigration laws, designed to attract immigrant entrepreneurs seeking to build new businesses in the United States. These efforts are a first step towards the broader, permanent immigration reforms proposed by the Partnership for a New American Economy – a bipartisan group of mayors and business leaders from across the country.
The Partnership has proposed a series of immigration reforms to bolster the economy and ensure America’s future prosperity, including: a new visa for entrepreneurs with investors ready to stake capital in new job-creating ideas; green cards for graduates with advanced degrees in essential fields; more temporary and permanent visas for highly skilled workers; guest-worker programs to ensure agriculture and other key sectors can thrive; and a revaluation of visa priorities that places a focus on the nation’s economic needs.
Statement of the Partnership for a New American Economy
“The Obama Administration is taking some promising first steps toward smarter immigration policies that can drive economic growth and create jobs. The hundreds of mayors and business leaders in the Partnership have been calling for common-sense immigration reforms to bolster our economy and ensure future prosperity. Let’s hope these steps are just the beginning of action in Washington. America’s economic future depends on fixing our broken immigration system.”
The tools announced (last week) by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas include:
~ Making temporary H-1B visas for highly skilled foreign workers available to entrepreneurs starting companies in the U.S., if they can establish they will be supervised by a U.S. board of directors;
~ Promoting the use of “national interest waivers” for green card applicants of exceptional ability. The waiver allows foreign entrepreneurs to come to the U.S. without a specific job offer if they will start a new business that serves the “national interest.” For example, a new business could qualify by launching a critical innovation that will benefit the country as a whole and create jobs for U.S. workers; and
~ Streamlining the application process for EB-5 visas, the immigrant-investor program designed to attract substantial foreign capital to new businesses that pledge to create U.S. jobs. Enhancements include establishing specialized teams to evaluate the economic and job-creating merits of EB-5 applications and to provide prompt and direct feedback to foreign investors who apply.
About the Partnership for a New American Economy
The Partnership for a New American Economy is a national bipartisan group of more than 300 mayors and CEOs making the economic case for sensible immigration reform. The Partnership’s members include mayors who represent over 33 million residents in large and small cities across the country and business leaders who employ almost four million people in all sectors of the economy. The Partnership believes that to compete in the 21st century global economy, America needs an immigration system that secures our borders and attracts and keeps the best, brightest and hardest working from around the world.
The Partnership’s Co-chairs are: Steven A. Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation; Robert Iger, president and CEO, Walt Disney Co.; J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and CEO of Marriott International, Inc.; Jim McNerney, chairman, president and CEO of Boeing; Rupert Murdoch, chairman, CEO and founder of News Corporation; Michael R. Bloomberg, mayor of New York City; Julián Castro, mayor of San Antonio; Phil Gordon mayor of Phoenix; Michael Nutter mayor of Philadelphia; and Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of Los Angeles.