The US could create 8.8m new jobs by issuing 100,000 green cards to graduates says Peter Cohan, a management consultant, author and lecturer.
Mr Cohan was writing in Forbes
magazine. He cites research from the Kaufman Foundation which suggests that
highly skilled immigrants tend to be more entrepreneurial than native born
Americans. 25.3% of technology and engineering start-ups between 1995 and 2005
had at least one immigrant as a founder. These companies had sales of US$52bn
and employed 450,000 workers in 2005.
Mr Cohan says that most jobs
are created in what he calls 'gazelle firms'. These are 'young, fast growing
firms' between three and five years old. They 'account for 1% of all companies
but create 10% of the new jobs each year.' Mr Cohan says that 'the typical
gazelle firm adds 88 jobs a year – 44 times the average firm - and ends up with
between 20 and 249 employees'.
Better still, these companies tend to
do well even when the general economy is in trouble.
Mr Cohan says
that the Kaufman Foundation recommends the passing of the Startup Visa Act to
help the US economy to create more jobs. This act was voted down by the US
Congress in 2010 but would have allowed immigrants able to raise US$250,000
investment in a startup company to apply for US visas.
If this could
not be done, Mr Cohan says that the existing EB-5 visa program could be
expanded. Under the EB-5 visa program, foreign nationals who invest at least
$500,000 and create ten jobs or more in the US can apply for a US permanent
resident visa or green card.
Mr Cohan says that Kaufman Foundation
statistics suggest that granting 100,000 more visas to highly skilled graduates
with degrees in the STEM subjects; science, technology, engineering and
mathematics, would create 8.8m jobs if each started a company. (100,000 new
companies x 88/jobs/company')
Mr Cohan congratulates Andre Mayorkas,
the head of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) for setting up the Entrepreneur
Pathways website which is designed to help young foreign-born entrepreneurs to
find a way to immigrate to the US. But Mr Cohan says 'it would be even better to
pass the Startup Visa Act because it would let proven entrepreneurs start their
businesses here instead of taking them outside the country where others get the
benefit of the training [they] received in the United States'.
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