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Immigration Law

The Blocking of an Entrepreneur: A Broken Immigration System at Work


"3D printing technology is about to revolutionize the way we understand manufacturing, and the country that takes the lead in this new technology will be the winner ofwhat The Economist magazine has called the third industrial revolution. A state of the art hearing aid or a high tech component for a military jet can be designed through a computer and printed on an unattended 3D printer as a solid functioning object.

Yet, the US Customs and Border Protection on the Canadian border recently refused admission to a dual national Canadian/British entrepreneur JS Brandon who is part of a startup called D Shape – which has developed a large-scale 3D printer that will revolutionize the way architectural design is planned, and building constructions are executed. By simply pressing the “enter” key on the keypad D Shape gives the architect the possibility to make buildings directly, without intermediaries who can add interpretation and realization mistakes.

Although refused entry into the United States, Mr. Brandon participated in a panel discussion on February 13, 2012 at Brooklyn Law School in New York entitled Immigration Policy and Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Pathways for Startups. Thanks to technology that has now become so routine, he could participate through Skype from overseas, and told a riveted audience that he had been refused entry under a NAFTA TN visa to work for D Shape in New York, which is limited to certain occupational categories and applies to Canadian and Mexican citizens. For an individual who wishes to work in a business related field, the only TN occupational classification is “Management Consultant,” but the CBP official did not think Mr. Brandon would fall under this category as he would be more of a “Manager,” which is not a TN classification." - Cyrus D. Mehta, Feb. 22, 2013.