Immigration’s impact on Innovation

Business by on November 15, 2006 at 12:09 pm

One of the few political topics that I wholeheartedly debate is US immigration policy. This National Venture Capital Association report on Immigration pulls together some astounding numbers (explained succinctly at VentureBeat). Most notably, 50% of company founders are immigrants. Even more ominously, “More than 2/3 of immigrant entrepreneurs agreed with the notion that U.S. immigration policy has made it more difficult than in the past to start a business in America.”

The H1 visa process is entirely broken. We are capping the influx of the most talented immigrants to the US because we are worried about protecting American jobs. This cap has got to be lifted/removed entirely. The US needs to be the place where every talented worker in the world wants to come.

If you follow this to its obvious end, the talented company founders will stay abroad and start their companies there. The job creation will happen outside of the US. You’ll rarely find an economist arguing for protectionist labor policies - I wonder why…


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