President Barack Obama is pushing for Congress to create a “startup visa” for entrepreneurs, he announced in his address on immigration policy yesterday.Just yesterday, a group of four bipartisan senators introduced The Immigration Innovation Act bill, which would nearly double the number of H-1B visas made available to highly skilled foreign workers.
In support of that bill, Obama says that foreign entrepreneurs who are able to raise money from US investors or bring in revenue from US customers should be able to stay permanently in the country, as long as their companies continue to grow and create jobs for Americans.
In Obama’s address, he noted how there are several brilliant students earning degrees in engineering and computer science at top universities in the US, but once they earn their degrees, many of them have to leave the country.
“Right now in one of those classrooms there are students wrestling with how to turn their big idea — their Intel or Instagram — into a big business,” Obama said. “We’re giving them all the skills they need to figure that out, but then we’re going to turn around and tell them to start that business and create those jobs in India or China or Mexico or someplace else. That’s not how you grow new industries in America. That’s how you give new industries to our competitors.”
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