Sehreen Noor Ali makes the case for visa reform:
In 2005, immigrant-founded publicly traded companies were worth over $500 billion and employed over 220,000 people in the U.S. Even small, venture-backed tech companies create an average of 150 jobs, many of which pay Americans higher than their competitors … [But no] more than 140,000 employment-based green cards are distributed per year, and only a subset of skilled workers and investors who have “specialized knowledge in a field of human endeavor” are eligible to apply for the H1-B visa.
The U.S. government restricts recipients from becoming entrepreneurs; their status only allows them to work at a company, not start one. Some entrepreneurs work in the U.S. through the EB-5 visa, also known as the investor visa, which requires applicants to invest from $500,000 to $1 million to an American enterprise. This pay-to-play scheme misses the mark because it measures the size of an applicant’s pocketbook, not his/her skills in science, technology, and engineering – the areas that drive and grow the U.S. economy.