Today is a very proud day for Watson Immigration Law.
Our readers will know that the Startup Act has been a passion of this lawfirm for the last several years. So, when the comprehensive immigration reform bill S.744 was released, we wasted no time in diving into the details of the Invest Visa. You may recall our summary, our analysis and our chart. We immediately followed up with the Startup community to get their feedback. We have spent many a night on this very issue. It was through this passion that arose the opportunity to assist Senator Moran’s office with their amendments. We are proud to have had the great privilege of working with Senator Moran’s office in helping improve the bill. The provisions will undoubtedly help the American economy by creating jobs at a time when it is so necessary. The provisions will help retain brilliant minds (that we might otherwise lose to Canada and their Startup Act! Don’t miss the bill board image in the memo!). The provisions will also help immigrant entrepreneurs achieve their American dreams. It is a win win for everyone, if you ask me!
I want to take this opportunity to thank the Senator’s office and his staff for the tireless efforts on this issue. Jason Wiens, the Legislative Director deserves a special thank you for his dedication and hardwork. Thank you for letting WIL be part of this venture.
I must also thank two important people who have been superstars on this issue for several years. Craig Montuori, the founder of Politihacks and Munly Leong, an entrepreneur himself. They both represent and manage the popular website www.startupvisa.com. Their Facebook page has almost 4000 very active followers. Our complimentary skills and knowledge helped us accomplish this huge goal. Thank you Craig and Munly, for your incredible insights, knowledge and dedication to this cause.
I also want to thank our clients who have participated and supported this huge task. We really needed your support and you gave it to us!
Yesterday, the amendment was filed! Today a press release was issued. Now comes the time to vote on the matter. Every vote matters. I urge you to call your senators and ask them to vote yes to these amendments! If you are a STEM degree student or graduate, or you are visa holder with ambitions of having your own startup, you must call your Senator!
See below for a copy of their press release. Here is also a copy of the memo circulated in the Senate.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 13, 2013
SEN. MORAN OFFERS AMENDMENT TO IMMIGRATION BILL FOCUSED ON INNOVATION AND JOB CREATION
“I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting changes to the legislation that will result in the creation of new jobs for Americans.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), author of Startup Act 3.0, offered an amendment, #1256, to the Gang of Eight immigration bill to strengthen the United States’ position to win the global battle for entrepreneurial talent.
“The immigration debate is an opportunity to create jobs for Americans by making certain highly-skilled and entrepreneurial immigrants are able to start new businesses and contribute to the growth of U.S. companies,” Sen. Moran said. “If we miss this opportunity, we risk losing the next generation of great entrepreneurs and the jobs they will create. The status quo is not acceptable, and our legal immigration system is broken. I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting necessary changes to the legislation that will result in the creation of new jobs for Americans.”
The immigration bill reported by the Judiciary Committee recognizes the importance of entrepreneurial immigrants by creating new visas for them and awarding points for the merit-based visa for successful entrepreneurship. Yet, Sen. Moran believes the bill could be improved to more accurately reflect how new businesses are formed, grow and hire workers. Highlights include:
- Clarifying that jobs created by immigrant entrepreneurs are held by Americans
- Reducing paperwork and reporting requirements so entrepreneurs can spend more time building and growing their businesses
- Allowing entrepreneurs’ family members to invest in their startup company
- Adding flexibility to startup employee compensation to account for geographic and industry differences
With the right changes to the bill, an entrepreneur visa has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of needed jobs for Americans. If we fail to improve our immigration system – one that currently tells these entrepreneurs and highly-skilled individuals “we don’t want you” – immigrant entrepreneurs will take their intellect and skills to another country and create jobs and economic opportunity there.
Sen. Moran’s Amendment is strongly supported by startups, investors, business leaders and immigration attorneys across the country including:
106 Miles, 1776 DC, Amicus, Blue Label Labs, Bluefields, CONNECT, Convo, E2 Visa Reform, Engine Advocacy, Foundry Group, Gazelle Labs, Geocko, Hackers & Founders, Indexor, LawGives, Lean Startup Circle, MasterPlans, Modulated Imagining, National Small Business Association, PolitiHacks, Prowant Law, Revolv, RocketSpace, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, SoftTech VC, StartupCity Des Moines, StartupDigest, TAO Pivot, TechStars, Virginia Tech Entrepreneur Club, Vysion Communications, and Watson Immigration Law.
Click here to read amendment #1256.
Click here to read a one-page summary on Sen. Moran’s amendment to the legislation.
Click here to watch Sen. Moran’s floor speech discussing his amendment.