Press Release: Statement of the Partnership for a New American Economy on New Obama Administration Immigration Policies

August 2, 2011

The Obama Administration today announced that it would promote several tools, all available under existing immigration laws, designed to attract immigrant entrepreneurs seeking to build new businesses in the United States. These efforts are a first step towards the broader, permanent immigration reforms proposed by the Partnership for a New American Economy – a bipartisan group of mayors and business leaders from across the country. The Partnership has proposed a series of immigration reforms to bolster the economy and ensure America’s future prosperity, including: a new visa for entrepreneurs with investors ready to stake capital in new job-creating ideas; green cards for graduates with advanced degrees in essential fields; more temporary and permanent visas for highly skilled workers; guest-worker programs to ensure agriculture and other key sectors can thrive; and a revaluation of visa priorities that places a focus on the nation’s economic needs.

Statement of the Partnership for a New American Economy

“The Obama Administration is taking some promising first steps toward smarter immigration policies that can drive economic growth and create jobs. The hundreds of mayors and business leaders in the Partnership have been calling for common-sense immigration reforms to bolster our economy and ensure future prosperity. Let’s hope these steps are just the beginning of action in Washington. America’s economic future depends on fixing our broken immigration system.”

The tools announced today by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas include:

• Making temporary H-1B visas for highly skilled foreign workers available to entrepreneurs starting companies in the U.S., if they can establish they will be supervised by a U.S. board of directors;

• Promoting the use of “national interest waivers” for green card applicants of exceptional ability. The waiver allows foreign entrepreneurs to come to the U.S. without a specific job offer if they will start a new business that serves the “national interest.” For example, a new business could qualify by launching a critical innovation that will benefit the country as a whole and create jobs for U.S. workers; and

• Streamlining the application process for EB-5 visas, the immigrant-investor program designed to attract substantial foreign capital to new businesses that pledge to create U.S. jobs. Enhancements include establishing specialized teams to evaluate the economic and job-creating merits of EB-5 applications and to provide prompt and direct feedback to foreign investors who apply.

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…