To Create Jobs, Open the Door to Immigrant Entrepreneurs

This is Robert E. Litan, writing in The Wall Street Journal:

Google was founded by Sergey Brin, a Russian immigrant, and American Larry Page by borrowing funds from their own credit cards. Why on earth would we want to create an entrepreneurs’ visa that couldn’t let in the future Sergey Brin?

He’s criticizing a bill by Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) that would:

Create a new, two-year visa for immigrant entrepreneurs whose firms attract at least $250,000 in financing from American angel investors or venture capital firms…

Here’s a way to improve on the Kerry-Lugar plan:

Create a true “job creator’s visa,” one tied directly and only to job creation by new immigrant entrepreneurs. The visa could be a temporary one for immigrants already here on another visa who establish a business. It could then be extended if the firm hires at least one American non-family resident. The visa should become permanent once the enterprise crosses a certain job threshold… But it would not be tied to financing.

Comments (4)

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  1. Ken says:

    Very intersting idea. Would this encourage a brain drain from other countries? Or would it be perceived that way?

  2. Paul H. says:

    Ken, what’s wrong with a brain drain? We get financial capital inflows because we are more friendly to capital than other countries around the world. So why shouldn’t we attract human capital as well — for the same reason?

  3. Joe S. says:

    I think this is a brilliant idea.

  4. Larry C. says:

    It makes too much sense. The White house and the Congressional Democrats will never buy it.