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article imageU.S. Immigrants Drive High-Tech But Where Are the Visas?

By David Silverberg     Nov 16, 2006 in Business
Digital Journal — Google. Intel. Yahoo. eBay. Some of the most American companies were founded by non-Americans, a fact highlighted by a study that found that U.S. immigrants have boosted the tech industry.
The public policy study, entitled American Made, reported that over the past 15 years immigrants have started one-quarter of venture-backed U.S. public companies, equaling a market capitalization of $500 billion US. In the high-tech sector, the amount of immigrant-led U.S. companies rises to 40 per cent.
If you need any examples, just look at the top dogs: Google was co-founded by Russian-born Sergey Mikhailovich Brin; Yahoo’s Jerry Chih-Yuan Yang was born in Taiwan; eBay’s co-founder Pierre Omidyar was born in Paris to Iranian parents; and Intel’s Andy Grove came to the U.S. from Hungary. But these notable high-tech heroes aren’t just blending into the melting pot without forgetting their roots.
“We must do all that we can to ensure that the door is open for the next generation of top entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists from around the world to come to the U.S. and thrive,” Yahoo’s Yang said in a statement.
His words come on the heels of the study’s central thesis: If immigrants have contributed so much to the U.S. economy, why aren’t more H1-B visas available for non-American entrepreneurs? In the report’s survey of immigrant businesspeople, more than two-thirds of respondents agreed that U.S. immigration policy has made it increasingly difficult to start a business in America.
Necessary to get a business off the ground for immigrant founders, H1-B visas allow foreign workers with an equivalent U.S. Bachelor’s degree to work for a U.S. company.
American Made
has all the numbers and relevant news to act as a wake-up call to politicians looking the other way. If America is truly the land of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it should give its immigrant innovators some assistance in getting their budding ideas off the ground.
Otherwise, the next generation of Googles, Intels and eBays may never materialize.
More about Immigration, Visa, US, High-tech, Google
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