Trump Administration Delays ‘Startup Visa’ Program For Immigrant Entrepreneurs

By Tracey Lien and Jack Flemming
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Ayda Akalin, an immigration attorney at the Aghnami Law Corp., says the delay of the “International Entrepreneur Rule” has caused anxiety for some clients, who were waiting for the rule to take effect so they could launch new businesses in the U.S.

SAN FRANCISCO

The United States is pulling back the welcome mat for foreign entrepreneurs.

In a move that drew criticism from the technology industry, the Trump administration delayed the rollout of the International Entrepreneur Rule, a piece of immigration policy set to take effect July 17 that would have granted 30-month visas to foreigners seeking to build and grow their businesses in the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security decision, announced Monday, delays implementation of the rule until March 14, 2018. But the department said it also plans to open the matter to public comment and potentially rescind the program entirely.

The decision is a blow to the U.S. technology industry, which has long relied on foreign talent to fill its ranks, and has for decades attracted founders from around the world.

Research from the National Foundation for American Policy found that more than half of the country’s startups valued at more than $1 billion had at least one immigrant founder.

But it also shows that tech leaders, despite having a seat at President Trump’s table, do not necessarily have the president’s ear.

Top tech leaders such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella convened with the president in December, shortly before his inauguration, and again in June to discuss matters such as cybersecurity and immigration. But the group of leaders appears to have had little effect in swaying the president, who has maintained a hard-line isolationist stance on immigration policies.

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