Entrepreneurship Summit Highlights Need for Legal Immigration Reform

Immigration officials launched a new program called Entrepreneurs in Residence in late February with an information summit at Moffett Field, California’s NASA Research Park.

The summit was a long-awaited breakthrough for critics of U.S. immigration law ¨C particularly as it pertains to visas for post-graduate professionals.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services started the Entrepreneurs in Residence program last October to gather industry expertise from both the private and the public sector in an attempt to spur job growth through the employment based visa program.

“USCIS gained invaluable insights from prominent entrepreneurs and industry leaders on immigration issues critical to our nation’s economic prosperity,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas after the Feb. 22 summit.

More than 150 representatives of the business community, government agencies and academia attended the summit to help USCIS use immigration law reform as a tool to promote entrepreneurship and bolster American prosperity, according to a press release from USCIS.

“The introduction of expert views from the private and public sectors will help us ensure that our policies and processes fully realize the immigration laws’ potential to grow our economy and create American jobs,” Mayorkas said in the release.

The summit was organized to give some direction to the Entrepreneurs in Residence’s new tactical team. The tactical team is made up of USCIS employees and business experts working to create clear, consistent immigration pathways for foreign entrepreneurs. All of this is being done to align visa policy with current business realities, according to the release.

The team is designed to streamline USCIS policy across all of the non-immigrant visa categories that entrepreneurs use in business.

The slowdown of the U.S. economy since the financial and housing market crash of 2008 has inspired the USCIS to begin thinking of ways to affect economic growth through smart visa policy. This inspiration has happened, in part, because of the chorus of voices from the technology industry begging for reform.

USCIS announced the Entrepreneurs in Residence initiative during President Barak Obama’s Council of Jobs and Competitiveness in Pittsburgh in October of 2011.

At the February summit, Mayorkas recognized five entrepreneurs who are American immigrants as Outstanding Americans by Choice. Those five entrepreneurs, who are now naturalized citizens, are researcher and writer Vivek Wadhwa; Michael Moritz, partner at Sequoia Capital; Christopher Che, president and CEO of the Che International Group; Shervin Pishervar, managing partner at Menlo Ventures; and Ping Fu, president and CEO of Geomagic.

The Outstanding American by Choice is an honor given to naturalized citizens for achievements in professional achievement, civic participation and responsible citizenship.

Mayorkas also performed a naturalization ceremony, welcoming 20 Silicon Valley residents to become U.S. citizens.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at http://www.visatous.com.