Rethinking Immigration: If America Will Welcome More Entrepreneurs, Why Not More Creatives?

Rethinking Immigration: If America Will Welcome More Entrepreneurs, Why Not More Creatives?

"While we obsess on the need to invite more immigrant entrepreneurs, why is there no comparable fixation on the importance of welcoming entrepreneurship's kissing cousin, creativity?  We acknowledge the creativity of knowledge workers, yet we fail to see the urgency of freely inviting members of the creative classes, our free-lance artists, writers, journalists, poets, painters, inspirational speakers, filmmakers, bloggers, videographers, performing artists, multi-media stylists and other creativity entrepreneurs.  As the artist, Konishi, convinced the court, the "activities of each entrepreneur are generally unique to his own enterprise, often requiring a special balance of skill, courage, intuition and knowledge. . . . The same can be said of the activities of an artist."  Regrettably for America, however, our immigration laws are just as broken and dysfunctional when applied to creatives as to entrepreneurs. Foreign artists, even if they possess "extraordinary ability," or manifest their artistry in "culturally unique" ways, must still be tied to an established U.S. agent or an employer.  They must also present a "consultation" from a peer group (usually a labor union that extorts a protectionist fee to confirm for the benefit of Homeland Security that its guild members' would accept the foreign artist into the fold on payment of union dues). Similar restrictions apply to media free-lancerswho must present journalistic credentials and a contract with a U.S. company even if they propose to enter the U.S. to offer or produce creatively presented information or education. ... Artists and creatives are everywhere, yet America mostly spurns them." - Angelo A. Paparelli, Mar. 17, 2013.