New bill seeks to reform high-skilled visa policy

The team of US Congressmen that introduced Startup Act 2.0 Bill in Congress

CHICAGO: A group of US lawmakers in House of Representatives – Reps. Michael G. Grimm (R-NY) Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Reps. Robert Dold (R-IL), Jared Polis (D-CO), Kevin Yoder (R-KS), Russ Carnahan (D-MO), and Devin Nunes (R-CA) – introduced a bill the Startup Act 2.0 that aims to create and keep jobs in America besides increasing America’s access to talent in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by reforming high-skilled visa policies.
The bill also seeks to raise opportunities for startup businesses with tax incentives and access to resources for innovation. From the view point of India and many other countries like India, that can boast of huge skilled labor, this bill would help a lot their technocrats and scientists to come here not only for sharpening their skills but also stay here if they so desire.
Rep Robert Dold of Illinois said in a talk to this paper that Startup Act 2.0 helps to create jobs here in America by allowing individuals from other countries who pursue advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education to stay in the country after they finish their degree. This could help the Indian community because it will allow individuals from India to apply for a visa to work and live in America after they complete their education.
“By encouraging individuals from India, and from around the globe, to pursue advanced degrees in America, and then allow them to stay here to startup businesses and create new jobs, we will spur the economy and get more people back to work.” Robert Dold added.
“The one thing we can all agree on is the need to jumpstart our economy and create jobs here at home. Startup Act 2.0 is a bipartisan, commonsense bill that will help to spur the economy and empower job creators by recognizing the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, empowering small businesses, and rethinking burdensome regulations that prevent job growth,” observed Dold.
Startup 2.0 helps increase America’s access to talent by creating a new set of conditional visas for 75,000 immigrant entrepreneurs and 50,000 foreign STEM graduate students, that are linked to the creation of American jobs. Research has demonstrated the positive impact of immigrants on American job creation.
More than 40 percent of all Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant, and each foreign-born advanced degree holder who stays in the U.S. to work in a STEM occupation created an estimated 2.6 American jobs.
“Startup 2.0 legislation is a natural follow-up to our efforts to jumpstart the economy and it is exactly the kind of legislation the United States needs to keep up with India, China and the rest of the global market,” said Rep. Sanchez.
Rep. Grimm said that Startup 2.0 is about creating American jobs. Too often we educate the world’s best and brightest in STEM fields, only to send them back to countries like India and China to open businesses and compete against us. This bill will keep top talent here in the U.S. to build businesses that hire Americans, and drive U.S. innovation and competitiveness. “I thank Senator Moran for his leadership on this legislation in the Senate and thank my colleagues in the House for working together across the aisle for the greater good of the American people and the U.S. economy,” added Rep. Grim.
“The Startup Act 2.0 is a great example of Congress working in a bipartisan manner to put Americans back to work. This legislation will help keep America a global leader in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, and in the competition for the brightest minds of future generations. Additionally, it will give small businesses much-needed support to stay afloat and add employees. ,” said Rep. Yoder. Rep. Polis said that this was exactly the kind of bipartisan, job-creating legislation that Congress should act on immediately.
“The Startup Act will encourage investors who want their money to grow American jobs and it will put funding for research and development right on the cutting edge of discovery, at our colleges and universities. It will give the men and women who are educated in America, who want to innovate and invent in America, a chance to do exactly that. We can create jobs in America that can never be sent overseas. We can build products that lead the world. We can do what we have always done in this nation; invent, innovate and deliver on our potential. The Startup Act will help make that happen,” said Rep. Carnahan.
“America has always attracted the best and brightest entrepreneurs. If we are to continue building on this legacy, we must act now,” said Rep. Nunes. The bill also creates tax incentives for the creation of new businesses. Research shows that startups create 3 million jobs per year, on average. In addition, over the past 30 years, companies less than five years old have created almost all the new net jobs in America.
“Technology companies are driving vital job growth and opportunity that is crucial to America’s economic recovery. To sustain this growth, companies like Microsoft need to be able to recruit and retain the world’s brightest minds, enabling them to work with our large number of American employees. We applaud Representatives Grimm and Sanchez for introducing this critical legislation that will help fuel innovation and create more jobs in this country. We urge Congress to pass this bipartisan legislation quickly,” said Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Microsoft.
The Startup Act 2.0 was also introduced in the Senate on May 22 by Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mark Warner (D-VA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Christopher Coons (D-DE).
“To get America’s economic engine roaring once again, entrepreneurs must be free to pursue their ideas, start businesses in the United States, and create American jobs. These ideas have bipartisan support, and I am pleased my colleagues in the House are joining me in the effort to prove the critics wrong: Congress can get something done during an election year by coming together to strengthen the economy and create jobs,” said Senator Moran.

Madhu Patel, Surendra Ullal & Ramesh Soparawala

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