The matter of illegal immigrants attending college in the U.S. has been discussed on this blog before, as has the issue of work visas — something we discussed just last week when we addressed the issue of the immensely popular H-1B work visa.
The issues overlap in many ways, and it appears that Congress will try to fix a problem that rests on both sides of the issue: immigrant entrepreneurs that attend college in the U.S. on a student visa but then are denied an extension or residency to remain in the country and apply their knowledge in the states. So, the U.S. House of Representatives plans to unveil Startup Act 2.0 (in a similar fashion to the Senate version) very soon.
Startup Act 2.0 will relax visa restrictions on graduating college students who are immigrants. This will entice them to remain in the U.S. and potentially start businesses or help out American companies.
Currently, it is common for immigrant graduates to up and leave the country after graduation, as the immigration laws here make it difficult for them to stay. This drives them back to their home country or to prospective jobs in major countries, such as India and China.
Specifically, Startup Act 2.0 looks to address the American needs for STEM graduates (an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math). According to market research, these sectors are woefully depleted — so much so that by 2018, American businesses will have a 230,000 STEM graduate shortfall, leaving jobs that require knowledge in one of the four areas unfulfilled.
Should Startup Act 2.0 come to fruition, though, it could present a wealth of employment and residency opportunities to immigrants who are looking to remain in the U.S.
Source: Multi-American, “Explaining the Startup Act 2.0,” Leslie Berestein Rojas, June 5, 2012