October 4, 2012
The US may have to make dramatic changes to its unwelcoming immigration system if the country is to hold onto its strong entrepreneurial culture.
Research by the Kauffman Foundation argues that the country’s “unwelcoming” immigration system has led to a “reverse brain drain” that is hampering entrepreneurship in vital areas of the economy.
Another study demonstrates how action to remove illegal immigrants from the workplaces of one US state ending up damaging its economy.
A critical election issue
President Barack Obama has stressed his commitment to “fixing [the] broken immigration system”, aiming to boost the country’s economic competitiveness by encouraging innovation to be based in the US and not other nations.
Obama gave hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants, who were brought into the country illegally as children, the temporary right to live and work in the country earlier this year as part of the reforms.
“It makes no sense to expel talented young people … who want to staff our labs, or start new businesses, or defend our country simply because of the actions of their parents – or because of the inaction of politicians,” the president said in June.
Meanwhile Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate in the presidential race, recently softened his stance on immigration.
“The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased,” Romney told the Denver Post.