Barbara Pruitt, 816-932-1288, email@example.com, Kauffman Foundation
U.S. company founders from other countries voice benefits and losses for U.S. economy due to visa backlogs for high-skilled immigrants
(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) July 11, 2012 – "A big, big loss for America," is how one U.S. immigrant founder sums up the economic cost of limited visas for high-skilled immigrants in a set of new videos released today by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
In "America's Great Job Creators: Immigrant Entrepreneurs," U.S. company founders from Korea, Russia, India and other countries share the potential benefits of expanding the number of green cards so more immigrant entrepreneurs can create companies and jobs in the United States. Right now, visa backlogs are forcing high-skilled immigrants to return to their home countries.
"These videos put a face on the visa challenges for high-skilled immigrants that we have addressed in previous research and in the Foundation's Startup Act recommendations," said Robert E. Litan, vice president of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation. "The entrepreneurs in the videos express the hope and passion of thousands of immigrants who are capable of bringing innovations and, ultimately jobs, to the United States but cannot get visas to do so. We are losing vital economic fuel by turning these talented innovators away."
Kauffman research shows that immigrants found companies in the United States at greater rates than native-born Americans do, and are disproportionately successful in starting high-tech firms. A recent Kauffman study conducted by the National Foundation for American Policy shows visa wait times are likely to increase in employment-based immigration categories. Such backlogs mean foreign nationals with the skills and abilities to start high-growth companies will have to return to their home countries and likely start companies there rather than in the United States.