Half of startups worth $1 billion or more in the U.S. were founded by immigrants, and laws should make it easier for would be entrepreneurs to enter the country, says a group which recently released research on immigrants and the economy.
A study released by the National Foundation for American Policy, a non-partisan organization which does research on trade and immigration, found that immigrant entrepreneurs started 44 $1 billion startups, which comes out to about 51 percent of the companies surveyed.
Stuart Anderson, the Executive Director of NFAP and writer of the report, said immigrants also hold management and product development positions in as many as 71 percent of startups worth more than $1 billion.
Anderson said the cap on H-1B hinders potential entrepreneurs from creating jobs, and measures like S.2394 introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-TX) in December would make potential immigrants work abroad for 10 years post-degree to apply.
The report calls for, “a startup visa to enable foreign nationals who start companies and create jobs would be an important addition to the U.S. immigration system.”
“What’s interesting about this is that not only that half had immigrant founders, it’s that most of the companies have immigrants in key positions,” Anderson said. “Even if an immigrant isn’t the founder, they have a comparably high position that drives innovation and creates jobs for Americans.”
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issues 65,000 H-1B visas per year.
“The results show that immigrants make many important contributions to the U.S. economy and job creation, and would make even more with intelligent reforms to the legal immigration system,” Anderson concluded.