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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

THE FOUNDERS VISAS

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Technologist Paul Graham has an interesting idea to help boost the economy:

The single biggest thing the government
could do to increase the number of startups in this country is a policy
that would cost nothing: establish a new class of visa for startup founders.

The
biggest constraint on the number of new startups that get created in
the US is not tax policy or employment law or even Sarbanes-Oxley. It's
that we won't let the people who want to start them into the country.

Letting
just 10,000 startup founders into the country each year could have a
visible effect on the economy. If we assume 4 people per startup, which
is probably an overestimate, that's 2500 new companies. Each year. They wouldn't all grow as big as Google, but out of 2500 some would come close.

By
definition these 10,000 founders wouldn't be taking jobs from
Americans: it could be part of the terms of the visa that they couldn't
work for existing companies, only new ones they'd founded. In fact
they'd cause there to be more jobs for Americans, because the companies
they started would hire more employees as they grew.

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Comments

  1. gg's Avatar
    I am not sure what PG wants. But there is already EB-5 for this purpose.
  2. gg's Avatar
    From USA Today :


    An immigration question -- too many kids are getting lost in the system.

    Obama says there needs to be a comprehensive overhaul over the entire immigration system. "We are a nation of laws and we are a nation of immigrants," he says. He calls for strengthening borders, going after employers who knowingly hire illegals, and giving undocumented workers a pathway to legality, with an emphasis on families. He hopes to deal with this "in a year or two."

  3. gg's Avatar
    GD to start production of Secure Employmen cards for USCIS

    http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS138743+15-Oct-2009+PRN20091015

  4. George Chell's Avatar
    Another reason why we need to have continued high levels of immigration...so that we dont get regress and retarded like this Justice of Peace in Louisiana...I am also certain that orgainzations such as FAIR and CIS and definitely the Minutemen and some congressmen from the south, particularly Georgia, want to have a moratorium on immigration to preserve such attitudes...

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091016/ap_on_re_us/us_interracial_rebuff
  5. Adi's Avatar
    "so that we dont get regress and retarded like this Justice of Peace in Louisiana.."
    Also worth checking is the fact that all southern states try really hard to rank in the bottom half when it comes to GDP per capita ranking.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_GDP_per_capita_%28nominal%29
  6. Josh's Avatar
    Yep! There is already EB-5. American Immgration ***** tho.
  7. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    The EB-5 doesn't cover what they're talking about. It requires 10 workers and $1,000,000. The job creation part usually means you're looking at labor intensive ventures like restaurants, hotels, etc., not start up tech ventures. The EB-5 program would need to be modified significantly to fit what the author is talking about.
  8. JoeF's Avatar
    EB5 wouldn't work for that.
    For startups, hiring 10 people is quite a lot. Most startups are just a few people, less than 5.
    Graham's own startup (one of the first Internet shopping carts, later sold to Yahoo) was originally just four people.
    And they didn't have money, certainly not $1M. In fact, his first business plan showed that he wanted to get $15K from venture capitalists: http://paulgraham.com/vwplan.html
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