Startups and immigration: Myths, lies and half-truths

By Desmond Lim, Crunch Network

Uber has transformed local transportation in American cities and SpaceX aims to enable Americans to travel to Mars. Oscar Health Insurance makes healthcare more accessible for Americans while ZocDoc simplifies making doctor appointments. What do these innovative companies share in common? They were all founded by at least one foreign-born entrepreneur.

In a study by the National Foundation for American Policy, a non-partisan think tank based in Arlington, VA, it was shared that immigrants founded 51 percent (44 out of 87) of U.S. billion-dollar startups and are key members in more than 70 percent (62 out of 87) of these companies.

The research also found that among the billion-dollar startup companies, they have collectively created more than 65,000 jobs. Immigrants clearly play a significant role in job creation, entrepreneurship and the startup ecosystem in the U.S. However, the U.S. has a strict immigration policy and has yet to pass the bill for the “startup visa” and, in the current political climate, it seems increasingly unlikely to do so.

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