In its desire to perform political fellatio on the Christianist/Tea Party crowd, the Republican Party has enthusiastically jumped on the anti-immigrant band wagon. Meanwhile, out of the other side of their mouth, the Republicans claim to support small businesses and entrepreneurship. The problem is that being anti-immigrant and supporting small business innovators is mutually exclusive. Or so say the results of a new study that found that immigrants founded half of all top start up companies (two such individuals from Iran are pictured at right). The role of immigrants was equally high in management and development positions. Here are some highlights via Think Progress:
Studies continue to show the important economic impact immigrants have on the national economy as well as states, be it the millions in losses Alabama faces after passing a draconian immigration law to the number of jobs immigrants help create.
Now venture capitalists are arguing for immigration reform for the sake of the economy after a study showed that immigrants founded almost half of the U.S.’s top 50 start-up companies and are vital management or development employees at roughly 75 percent of the nation’s leading cutting-edge companies.
Companies with immigrant founders include the textbook rental company Chegg and the online craft site Etsy. The most common countries of origin for these entrepreneurs were India, Israel, Canada, Iran, and New Zealand, and for many, their experiences creating a start-up were “uniquely American,” according to the report by the National Federation for American Policy
The NFAP’s report concludes that the U.S. needs policies to retain talented entrepreneurs in the U.S., but the hoops can be high for those who want to immigrate to the U.S. And the cap for H-1B visas, highly sought after for IT workers, has already been reached for the 2012 fiscal year, so anyone who wants to apply for the visa will have to wait another year before trying. “It’s a gamble whether an entrepreneur should stay or leave right now, and that’s not how the immigration system should work,” said Mark Heesen, president of the National Venture Capital Association, according to the Chicago Tribune. “What we need is legislation that helps these entrepreneurs from outside the United States.”