International Entrepreneur Rule Under Threat

The San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday that the Trump Administration plans to scrap the new International Entrepreneur Rule, set to take effect next month. Given current immigration politics, this news shouldn’t have come as a surprise. But is still disappointing to see such a reasonable and pro-innovation policy come under attack.

As we wrote last year:

For generations, the American economy has benefited from the ingenuity and industry of immigrants who chose to start businesses here. Many iconic American companies, from Proctor and Gamble and Pfizer in the 19th Century to Google and WeWork more recently, and companies like Sprinklr and AppNexus right here in New York, were founded, in whole or in part, by immigrants.

This is why so many—and especially those in the technology industry—support real immigration reform that would make it easier for, among other things, high-skilled and entrepreneurial workers to come to this nation to build companies, create jobs, and grow new and interesting technologies.

Our stance hasn’t changed. In tech alone, immigrants helped launch LinkedIn, Tesla Motors, Zipcar, Intel, Yahoo!, eBay, and WhatsApp. More than half of the tech startups currently valued at $1 billion or more were started by immigrants.

We applauded when the Obama Administration approved the International Entrepreneur Rule because it would make it easier for qualified foreign entrepreneurs to build the next of these transformational companies here in the United States. That means more jobs, more tax revenue, and more economic activity here.

We realize that immigration is a hot-button issue—indeed, our community has taken part in that debate. Yet we find it short-sighted and narrow-minded for this Administration, which claims to be so focused on job growth, to oppose a limited, common-sense policy that would attract job creators to the United States.

We urge the current Administration to retain the International Entrepreneur Rule.