Economists’ Letter in Opposition to Dismantling of the International Entrepreneur Rule

To: Samantha Deshommes
Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division Office of Policy and Strategy
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Department of Homeland Security
20 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington DC 20529

Re: Notice of Proposed Rule: “Removal of International Entrepreneur Parole Program.” DHS Docket
No. USCIS-2015-0006

Dear Chief Deshommes:

As the Department of Homeland Security considers rescinding the International Entrepreneur Parole Program rule, we write to express our concern that cutting off a pathway for immigrant entrepreneurs to legally come to the United States to start businesses would hamper economic growth and lead to fewer job opportunities for Americans.

For entrepreneurs around the world, the United States provides the best environment to start and grow a successful business. Yet absent the International Entrepreneur Parole Program, our immigration system does not provide a way for foreign-born job creators to come and start their companies here. America’s failure in this regard is another country’s opportunity: competitors in China, Singapore, Chile, Canada, Australia, and others are actively recruiting the world’s future business leaders, and welcoming the talent that we regularly turn away.[1]

As some of the nation’s leading economists, we recognize that immigrants serve as critical job creators in industries across the economy. Recent studies have shown that immigrants are behind an estimated 51 percent of our country’s billion-dollar startups,[2] that immigrants or their children founded more than 40 percent of America’s Fortune 500 companies,[3] and that immigrants have higher rates of business ownership and new business formation than the US-born.[4]

According to New American Economy, implementing the International Entrepreneur Parole Program rule over the next 10 years would lead to the creation of anywhere from 135,240 to 429,714 new jobs in the United States.[5] We urge the Department of Homeland Security to consider the consequences of turning away promising entrepreneurs at a time when international competition is at an all-time high—endangering our entrepreneurial edge and undermining the long-term health of our labor market. We oppose the decision to rescind the International Entrepreneur Parole Program rule.


  • A. Mushfiq Mobarak

    Professor of Economics, Yale University

  • Abraham L. Wickelgren

    Professor, University of Texas at Austin

  • Alain Enthoven

    Marriner S. Eccles Professor of Public and Private Management (Emeritus), Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

  • Alejandro Rivera Mesias

    Assistant Professor of Finance, University of Texas at Dallas

  • Andrew Ellul

    Indiana University, CEPR, CSEF and ECGI

  • Anthony Negbenebor

    Economist, Gardner-Webb University

  • Anthony B. Sanders

    Distinguished Professor of Finance, George Mason University

  • Antony Davies

    Associate Professor of Economics, Duquesne University

  • Anup Agrawal

    Powell Chair of Finance, University of Alabama

  • Arthur Lewbel

    Professor, Boston College

  • Austin Boyle

    Assistant Teaching Professor, Pennsylvania State University

  • B. Espen Eckbo

    Tuck Centennial Chair in Finance, Dartmouth College

  • Barbara Fraumeni

    Professor Emerita, University of Southern Maine & NBER

  • Barry Hirsch

    W.J. Usery Chair of the American Workplace and Professor of Economics, Georgia State University

  • Barton Lipman

    Professor, Boston University

  • Benjamin Harris

    Former Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden; Cherrydale Strategies Founder and President

  • Bernard Baumohl

    Chief Global Economist, The Economic Outlook Group, LLC

  • Bonnie Wilson

    Associate Professor of Economics, Saint Louis University

  • Brendan O’Flaherty

    Professor of Economics, Columbia University

  • Brian J. Cushing

    Associate Professor of Economics, West Virginia University

  • Bruce Wydick

    Professor of Economics, University of San Francisco

  • Bryan Caplan

    George Mason University

  • C. Emre Koksal

    Founder, DAtAnchor, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, The Ohio State University

  • Carmelo Mesa-Lago

    Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Pittsburgh

  • Cecil E. Bohanan

    Professor of Economics, Ball State University

  • Charles W. Calomiris

    Professor of Finance, Columbia University

  • Charles P. Staelin

    Professor of Economics, Smith College

  • Chong Xiang

    Professor of Economics, Purdue University

  • Christina Stoddard

    Professor, Montana State University

  • Christopher Curran

    Department of Economics, Emory University

  • Clifford W. Smith

    Epstein Professor, Simon School of Business, University of Rochester

  • Courtnenay C. Stone

    Emeritus Professor of Economics, Ball State University

  • David Besanko

    Northwestern University

  • David S. Bullock

    Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Illinois

  • David R. DeRemer

    Assistant Professor, International School of Economics

  • David Parsley

    E. Bronson Ingram Professor of Economics and Finance, Vanderbilt University

  • Donald Bruce

    Department of Economics and Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research, University of Tennessee

  • Douglas Holtz-Eakin

    Former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Council of Economic Advisers for Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush; American Action Forum President

  • Douglas Young

    Professor Emeritus (Economics), Montana State University

  • Edward Tower

    Professor of Economics, Duke University

  • Elinda F. Kiss

    Clinical Associate Professor, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

  • Elizabeth Bogan

    Department of Economics, Princeton University

  • Elliott Sclar

    Director, Center for Sustainable Urban Development, Earth Institute and Professor Emeritus, Columbia University

  • Emily Blank

    Associate Professor of Economics, Howard University

  • Eugene N. White

    Distinguished Professor of Economics, Rutgers University

  • Gerald N. Cook

    Adjunct Professor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

  • H. E. Frech III

    Professor of Economics and Technology Management, UC Santa Barbara

  • Hannah Apps

    Professor of Economics, Kalamazoo College

  • Heather Schofield

    Assistant Professor, The University of Pennsylvania

  • Jack W. Osman

    Economic Professor Emeritus, San Francisco State University

  • James Bessen

    Executive Director, Technology & Policy Research Initiative, Boston University School of Law

  • James E. Clark

    Associate Professor, W. Frank Barton School of Business, Wichita State University

  • James D. Rogers

    Professor Emeritus of Economics, Pennsylvania State University

  • JC Poindexter

    Professor Emeritus, North Carolina State University

  • Jesse Anttila-Hughes

    Associate Professor of Economics, University of San Francisco

  • Jim Cobbe

    Professor Emeritus, Florida State University

  • John Beghin

    Professor and Head of Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, North Carolina State University

  • John Flanders

    Professor of Business and Economics, Central Methodist University

  • Jonathan Conning

    Associate Professor of Economics, Hunter College, City University of New York

  • Judith R. Lave

    Professor of Health Economics Emerita, University of Pittsburgh

  • Karen M. Travis

    Associate Professor of Economics

  • Kathleen Carey

    Professor, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston University

  • Kerry D. Vandell

    Dean’s Professor Emeritus of Economics and Public Policy, University of California – Irvine

  • Laurence B. Siegel

    Gary P. Brinson Director of Research, CFA Institute Research Foundation

  • Lawrence C. Marsh

    Professor Emeritus in Economics, University of Notre Dame

  • Lawrence J. White

    Robert Kavash Professor of Economics, Stern School of Business, New York University

  • Lee E. Ohanian

    Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

  • Madeline Zavodny

    Professor of Economics, University of North Florida

  • Mark J. Flannery

    University of Florida

  • Mark Koyama

    Associate Professor of Economics, George Mason University; W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo Campbell National Fellow, Hoover Institution

  • Marvin Lieberman

    Professor, UCLA Anderson School of Management

  • Mary E. Edwards

    Professor Emerita, PhD Economics, St. Cloud State University

  • Michael J. Hicks

    George & Frances Ball Distinguished Professor, Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, Miller College of Business, Ball State University

  • Muhamet Yildiz

    Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Mu-Jeung Yang

    Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Washington

  • Nicolaus Tideman

    Professor of Economics, Virginia Tech

  • Patrick Flaherty

    Adjunct Faculty, Department of Economics, University of Connecticut

  • Paul Koch

    Professor of Economics, Olivet Nazarene University

  • Paul Milgrom

    Ely Professor of Economics, Stanford University

  • Paul Pecorino

    Hayes Professor of Economics, University of Alabama

  • Peter Howitt

    Professor Emeritus of Economics, Brown University

  • Peter F. Orazem

    University Professor of Economics, Iowa State University

  • Phillip LeBel

    Emeritus Professor of Economics, Montclair State University

  • Qihong Liu

    University of Oklahoma

  • Randy Nelson

    Professor, Colby College

  • Raymond F. Gorman

    Professor Emeritus, Miami University

  • Raymond Sauer

    Professor of Economics, Clemson University

  • Richard England

    Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of New Hampshire

  • Richard McGrath

    Professor of Economics, Georgia Southern University

  • Robert Krol

    Professor, Department of Economics, California State University, Northridge

  • Robert S. Smith

    Professor of Economics, Cornell University

  • Ronald M. Harstad

    J. Rhoads Foster Professor of Economics, University of Missouri

  • Saras Sarasvathy

    Paul M Hammaker Professor of Business Administration, Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia

  • Scott Sumner

    Professor Emeritus, Bentley University

  • Sean P. Corcoran

    Professor Emeritus, Bentley University

  • Shaikh A. Hamid

    Professor of Economics and Finance, Southern New Hampshire University

  • Silverio Zebral Filho

    Chief Economist, Organization of American States, Associate Professor, The George Washington University

  • Stephen Levy

    Director, Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy

  • Stephen J. Schmidt

    Professor, Union College (NY)

  • Stephen Turnovsky

    Van Voorhis Professor of Economics, University of Washington

  • Steven A. Greenlaw

    Professor of Economics, University of Mary Washington

  • Steven E. Landsburg

    Professor of Economics, University of Rochester

  • Syon Bhanot

    Assistant Professor, Economics, Swarthmore College


[1] Ellen Huet, “How Tech Startup Founders Are Hacking Immigration,”, accessed September 6, 2016,, Dexter Roberts, “China’s Factory Workers Head Home,”, accessed October 11, 2016

[2] Stuart Anderson, “Immigrants and Billion Dollar Startups,” NFAP Policy Brief March, 2016.

[3] New American Economy, Entrepreneurship,, accessed June 18, 2018,

[4] Robert Fairlie, “Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners, and their Access to Financial Capital,” SBA Office of Advocacy Report, May 2012

[5] New American Economy, “Opportunity Lost: The Cost of Rescinding the International Entrepreneur Rule,”, accessed June 27, 2018,

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…