Immigration Policy Favoring Foreign Entrepreneurs Delayed

(ESPAÑOL) A new immigration policy favoring foreign entrepreneurs has been delayed, to the chagrin of the companies.

In a move that drew criticism from the technology industry, the Trump administration delayed the rollout of the International Entrepreneur Rule, a piece of immigration policy set to take effect July 17 that would have granted entry for 30 months to foreigners seeking to build and grow their businesses in the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security decision, announced Monday, delays implementation of the rule until March 14, 2018. But the department said it also plans to open the matter to public comment and potentially rescind the program entirely.

The decision is a blow to the U.S. technology industry, which has long relied on foreign talent to fill its ranks, and has for decades attracted founders from around the world. Research from the National Foundation for American Policy found that more than half of the country’s start-ups valued at more than $1 billion had at least one immigrant founder.

But it also shows that tech leaders — despite having a seat at President Trump’s table — do not necessarily have the president’s ear.

Top tech leaders such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella convened with the president in December, shortly before his inauguration, and again in June to discuss matters such as cybersecurity and immigration. But the group of leaders appears to have had little effect in swaying the president, who has maintained a hard-line isolationist stance on immigration policies.

“Today’s announcement is extremely disappointing and represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the critical role immigrant entrepreneurs play in growing the next generation of American companies,” said Bobby Franklin, president and chief executive of the National Venture Capital Assn. “At a time when countries around the world are doing all they can to attract and retain talented individuals to come to their shores to build and grow innovative companies, the Trump administration is signaling its intent to do the exact opposite.”