Immigration Reform and Innovation

Immigration InnovationThe U.S. is the world leader in research and new inventions because the U.S. attracts talent from all over the world. To remain the leader, U.S. lawmakers must consider immigration reform.

Businessweek today reports on U.S. innovation by providing some interesting facts.

In 2012 China earned $1 billion in foreign royalty and license payments. Foreign royalty and license payments are revenue earned when an invention or design is used by companies in other countries. China paid $18 billion in foreign royalty, which made their deficit $17 billion. In comparison, in 2012, the U.S. had a surplus of $82 billion.

The U.S. has done a good job of attracting innovative talent, but it has to improve its immigration system to remain on top. China’s economy is growing quickly.

A report from Duke University states that there has been a drop in high-tech startups founded by Chinese and Indian immigrants in Silicon Valley. In 2005, 52 percent of startups were founded by Chinese and Indian immigrants. In 2011, the number dropped to 44 percent.

It doesn’t help that current immigration law makes it difficult for U.S.-educated foreign students to stay in the U.S.

The Senate immigration bill includes proposals to significantly increase the number of H-1B visas for highly-skilled workers. H-1B visas are dual intent, which means H-1B visa holders may apply for a green card while already working for a U.S. company.

With more H-1B visas available, more graduates in technology fields would be given the opportunity to work and use their talents in the U.S.

Last week, the House approved the SKILLS Act bill, which would reserve 55,000 green cards each year for employers to hire foreign graduates in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields from U.S. universities.


More on Immigration Reform:

  • Immigration Reform 2013
  • Gang of 8
  • Earned Citizenship
  • Streamlining Immigration
  • Strengthening Border Security
  • More Accountability for Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants