TechNet Statement on Trump Administration Decision to End Entrepreneur Visa Program
Washington, D.C. — TechNet, the national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives, today responded to the Trump Administration’s announcement that it will rescind the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), which encourages foreign-born entrepreneurs with promising startups to grow their businesses in the U.S.
“It is very disappointing that the Trump Administration is ending the International Entrepreneur Rule and eliminating a key tool we have to encourage investment and entrepreneurship in the U.S.,” said TechNet President and CEO Linda Moore. “Right now the U.S. is engaged in a global fight for talent, and one of the keys to winning it is attracting the world’s best entrepreneurs to the U.S. so they can start and grow new companies here. This decision to get rid of the International Entrepreneur Rule sends a chilling message to entrepreneurs and investors around the world that America doesn’t need or want them. At a time when the U.S. has slipped to ranking as the world’s 11th most innovative country and economic competitors like Canada, France, Singapore, and the United Kingdom are using dedicated entrepreneur visas to attract job creators to their shores, this decision is a step backwards for us.
“The International Entrepreneur Rule is a common-sense policy to increase the number of startups in our nation, which on average create jobs at a rate more than five times faster than more established firms,” Moore added. “We encourage the administration to work with Congress and the business community to advance policies that will make the U.S. the best place in the world to launch a business and grow it.
TechNet has long been supportive of the IER. In February, TechNet joined a coalition in sending a letter to President Trump urging him to keep the rule in place. In January, TechNet sent its own letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services calling for the preservation of the rule. Last August, TechNet was part of a multi-trade coalition that submitted formal comments to the Department of Homeland Security in support of keeping the rule.
Additional Background: One recent study showed that immigrant entrepreneurs “have started more than half (44 of 87) of America’s startup companies that are valued at $1 billion or more.” Immigrant founders have created an average of approximately 760 jobs per company in the United States. Immigrants and their children have started more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies, employing more than 10 million people. One study estimates that the International Entrepreneur Rule could create between 135,240 and 308,460 jobs over ten years.
TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives that promotes the growth of the innovation economy by advocating a targeted policy agenda at the federal and 50-state level. TechNet’s diverse membership includes dynamic startups and the most iconic companies on the planet and represents three million employees and countless customers in the fields of information technology, e-commerce, the sharing and gig economies, advanced energy, cybersecurity, venture capital, and finance. TechNet has offices in Albany, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Olympia, Sacramento, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Tallahassee, and Washington, D.C.