With unemployment so high, it’s time to look outside the box for new ways to create jobs. My suggestion is that we pass legislation letting more foreign entrepreneurs enter the country via start-up visas, which would give two-year visas to any entrepreneur backed by investors who was committed to hiring five or more Americans. An excerpt from my USA Today column about this:
High-skilled immigrants have a proven record of generating jobs. From 1995 to 2005, a quarter of start-up technology or engineering companies had at least one immigrant founder. … Those companies produced 450,000 jobs in the U.S. over the decade, according to a 2007 paper written by Duke University professor Vivek Wadhwa. To put that number into context, last year’s $814 billion stimulus is estimated by a November White House report to have created or saved 2.7 million-3.7 million jobs. High-skilled immigrants might not top that number, but whatever jobs they do create don’t cost taxpayers a dime.
And odds are, foreign entrepreneurs could help tens of thousands of Americans re-enter the working world. Entrepreneur and start-up visa promoter Brad Feld figures the visas could create 5,000 to 25,000 jobs annually, while the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), a public policy think tank, estimates that up to 100,000 jobs could be created over three years if 10,000 start-up visas were issued per year.