Immigration curbs worry Start-ups in the US
Posted on June 6, 2019
The Start-up community in the US is worried over the highly protectionist stand on immigration being taken by the Trump administration. They have said that it will have a detrimental effect on innovation in their sectors.
US President Donald Trump recently announced the new immigration system based on merit. It seeks to safeguard wages in the US and safety net programs. This will witness focus on highly skilled migrants permitted to enter the US increasing to 57% from 12%. It implies that those who do not meet the mark of being highly-skilled will find it tougher to immigrate to the US.
Additionally, the Homeland Security Department last year proposed a rule to scrap the International Entrepreneur Rule. IER is a program of the Obama era that made it easier for overseas entrepreneurs to do business in the US and grow as well.
Along with this, the Trump administration has also clamped down on the H-1B Visas. This has resulted in a large number of potential tech migrants seeking other nations now.
The Start-up community is really worried about this as it is an extremely perturbing trend said, Eric Belcher. He is a former CEO of and is on boards of several Start-ups in Marketing and Technology.
Historically, most of the talent for really innovative firms in the US has come from overseas, said Belcher. This protectionist policy will adversely impact it, he added.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ data reveals that the rate of approval for H-1B Visas declined sharply by 10% in FY 2018. This is over the previous year in 2017, as quoted by the Hindu.
Senior Program Director at a Healthcare Start-up incubator Matter Arun Bhatia said that companies are realizing that they need to break out of the mould of having same kinds of ideas, biases, and people. For this, they need to look beyond their own walls and even beyond the borders, added Bhatia.
Founder and CEO of a venture-backed firm in the mental health care delivery space Regroup David Cohn said that for some areas of healthcare, innovation is really crucial. This includes new diagnostic technologies, new device opportunities, and drug therapies. Thus having a free flow of exchange of ideas and people is necessary and so the policies are worrisome, added Cohn.
Free movement of services and goods offers a greater benefit than not having them said, David Cohn.
Arun Bhatia said that all these things progress in wave patterns. So over time, people will realize that we will need to be more open for being more innovative, added Bhatia.
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