Posts Tagged ‘Immigration policy’

Immigration policy for recent grad school grads

I made reference to the issue of immigration policy in a post last week (see “Want more jobs? Support Entrepreneurship”). In that post I referenced a WSJ OpEd piece that my partner Brad Feld wrote last week with Paul Kedrosky about the Start-up Visa Movement (the idea that we should make it easier for foreign born entrepreneurs who are starting their companies and who have obtained financing to stay in the United States to build their businesses). In my post I went on to say:

But let’s take this idea further. For example, how could it possibly make sense to deport a recent graduate school graduate (someone with the kind of technical degree that we so badly need here in the US and who received significant federal and state subsidies to study here)? We should be doing everything we can to keep smart, educated, motivated immigrants here – we want them contributing to our society and to our economy.

Susan Hockfield has a great OpEd piece in this morning’s Journal on this exact topic that is well wroth reading. Here’s my favorite quote from the article to give you the flavor but please click through and read the whole thing.

Our immigration laws specifically require that students return to their home countries after earning their degrees and then apply for a visa if they want to return and work in the U.S. It would be hard to invent a policy more counterproductive to our national interest.


December 7th, 2009     Categories: Uncategorized     Tags: ,

The “real” America

I’ve generally avoided political issues on this blog, but this isn’t something I can keep my mouth shut on.

imageYesterday Meb Keflezighi became the first American to win the New York City Marathon in 27 years. Born in Eritrea on the east coast of Africa, Keflezighi moved to the US when he as 12 (more than 20 years ago), is an American citizen and has raced for the US Olympic team.

Still, there are some who are calling his achievement diminished because he’s not “technically” an American by virtue of having been born outside of the United States – chief among them Darren Rovell of CNBC.  Rovell writes:

It’s a stunning headline: American Wins Men’s NYC Marathon For First Time Since ’82. Unfortunately, it’s not as good as it sounds. Meb Keflezighi, who won yesterday in New York, is technically American by virtue of him becoming a citizen in 1998, but the fact that he’s not American-born takes away from the magnitude of the achievement the headline implies.

This is appalling (not to mention racist). I know I’m particularly sensitive to this kind of bigotry because two of our three children were born and lived for a time outside of the United States (not that far from where Keflezighi was). They are not any less American than our oldest daughter who was born in Colorado. It’s amazing (and sad) to me that people really think this way. By Rovell’s definition many of America’s Founding Fathers weren’t “technically American”.

This is  a nation that was founded by immigrants and built on the promise of equal opportunity for all those that come to this country. The vast majority of Americans are only a few generations from their immigrant pasts.  It’s unbelievably disturbing that we’re losing sight of what’s made our country great. From the basics of our immigration policy to how we handle foreign-born workers looking for jobs in America we’re increasingly becoming a nation of xenophobes.

Darren Rovell probably doesn’t think of himself as a racist or a xenophobe – and therein lies a large part of the problem.

November 3rd, 2009     Categories: General Business     Tags: