Why We’re Still Fighting for the International Entrepreneur Rule

A few weeks ago, as expected, the White House officially proposed to rescind the International Entrepreneur Rule (“IER”), which would allow foreign entrepreneurs the opportunity to start their businesses in the U.S. The IER could help support more than 3,000 additional international entrepreneurs, who would build new cutting-edge companies and create jobs.

In collaboration with our friends at Engine, Tech:NYC submitted comments opposing the proposed rollback, since it's clear that the administration lacked any clear policy evidence for rescinding the rule. We previously supported the implementation of the IER throughout the rulemaking process, and we continue to believe the IER would go a long way towards promoting entrepreneurship and economic growth in America.

We wrote:

Immigrants are more than twice as likely to start a business as the native-born population. Immigrant entrepreneurs started, in whole or in part, some of the most important technology companies of our time including Google, Intel, Yahoo!, eBay, and WhatsApp. More than half of the companies on the current list of U.S. startups valued at $1 billion or more were started by immigrants. Each of these companies is responsible for creating, on average, 760 jobs within the United States. ...

Additionally, studies have confirmed that newer and smaller tech firms are increasingly responsible for job growth and creation. Because foreign entrepreneurs are disproportionately responsible for the creation of new companies, a roadblock to residency in the United States is a roadblock to job creation. The government cannot afford to demonstrate antipathy toward foreign-born entrepreneurs, who, in the absence of an accessible visa option in the U.S., will simply choose to take their economic contributions elsewhere in the world.

Rescinding the IER will only hurt the United States’ reputation with global founders and send a message that they are not welcome here. If the U.S. wants to be the world leader in startups and technology companies, we must welcome foreign-born talent and not push them away.

Photo credit: Ellis Island by Roman Babakin/Shutterstock