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Immigration Law

Unleashing International Entrepreneurs to Help U.S. Economy Recover from Pandemic

Dan Berger, Steve Yale-Loehr, Doug Rand, Leon Rodriguez, Lindsay Milliken, Kelli Duehning, Megan Kludt, Jeff Goldman, and Michael Serotte, May 20, 2021

"In 2014, then-Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Jeh Johnson issued a memo (the 2014 memo) recommending “policies supporting U.S. high-skilled businesses and workers.”  DHS offered a range of policies for updating the employment-based immigration system to encourage economic development.  We propose that DHS issue a follow-up memo now focused specifically on international entrepreneurs to help the U.S. economy recover from the pandemic. ... The U.S. immigration system is a game of categories, and many of the categories were created at a time when most students were in class full-time and most workers were 9-5 employees.  DHS guidance does not fully address situations encountered with the myriad of entrepreneurial ventures, university incubators, accelerators, campus-wide contests, etc.  President Biden has issued an executive order that DHS should “identify any agency actions that fail to promote access to the legal immigration system.”  DHS can do so, and take the opportunity now to support economic growth and job creation by providing clear guidelines for the appropriate use of existing immigration categories by entrepreneurs.