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How are Google, GE and McDonald’s alike?

How are Google, GE and McDonald’s alike? They were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.

business Updated: Nov 01, 2011 21:57 IST
Robert Litan

How are Google, GE and McDonald’s alike? They were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.

Immigrants not only start companies but are also especially successful in launching high-growth high-tech firms. More than 40% of Fortune 500 firms were founded by immigrants or their offspring.

A dizzying number of obstacles face immigrant entrepreneurs in the US. What a mistake. They don’t take jobs; they make them, and at no cost to the government.

Two ideas would bring more entrepreneurs to the country. First: the Startup Visa Act, co-sponsored by Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar. Immigrant entrepreneurs would be screened for a temporary visa based on the outside capital they had attracted or revenue from US sales. Permanent visas would be given once they hired enough US workers.

Second: grant green cards to foreign students when they receive degrees from a US university. Under current law, these students must go home after graduation. What a waste! We ought to give these highly trained individuals the right to stay and contribute to the innovation we need.

We should welcome those individuals who can make America and, ultimately, the world a better place while creating more jobs for Americans.

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