It looks like there is the potential for some sanity in our immigration policies, relative to immigrants who want to come to the US to start businesses. Last week, Senators Lugar and Kerry introduced a bill that allows entrepreneurs who successfully fund and grow a company to be able to stay in the US legally. A similar bill went no-where last year, due to various other political agendas.
This bill may seem like a no-brainer, but I guess in the post-9/11 world, there is no such thing when it comes to immigration policy! It really seems like we’ve thrown the baby out with the bath water, when it comes to the post-9/11 immigration policy. How silly is it for the US, a country literally built by immigrants and entrepreneurs, to make it so difficult for the world’s most ambitious, intelligent and entrepreneurial people to enter and stay in the country?
I was lucky enough to arrive in the US, at a time when there was an orderly and timely path to citizenship. We arrived in this country through political asylum, and reached citizenship within a few short years. I even seem to remember that at that time, if one brought a certain amount of capital into the US, there would be a clear path to a green card.
I know for a fact, that the US continues to be a shining light for entrepreneurs worldwide. I have spoken to many non-US members of YPO about this topic, and they all agree that many of their citizens would jump at the chance to come to the US to start a business. Our structured capital markets, low barriers to starting businesses, rule of law, etc., continue to make starting a business easier and more practical in the US, than virtually anywhere else in the world.
The immigration issue is one on which I think the Republican party is unfortunately making a grave error. The rhetoric on the Republican side regarding illegal immigration has so muddied the water, that I am not sure anyone can easily articulate a common sense Republican position. On the left, political correctness, has halted any common sense discussion of an immigration policy that would favor entrepreneurs, people with capital, scholars, etc. This silliness must stop on both sides, if we are to once again become the shining light for much of the world, the way we were in the 20th century.