Lofgren, Gutiérrez introduce bill to create jobs, boost economy through entrepreneurial visa reform

July 30, 2015
Blog Post

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two leading House Democrats introduced a new bill this week to incentivize economic growth, stimulate entrepreneurship, and attract additional foreign investment to the United States with the goal of creating jobs.

The EB-JOBS Act of 2015, introduced by U.S. Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), provides much needed reforms to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and creates a new green card category for entrepreneurs who establish start-up businesses, create jobs for American workers and benefit the American economy.

"For generations, immigrants have flocked to our shores to build their dreams, and in turn they have grown our economy and provided hundreds of thousands of jobs to their fellow Americans," said Lofgren. "In fact, immigrants are twice as likely to start businesses as native-born Americans, and immigrant businesses – including small non-tech businesses – have grown at 2.5 times the national average. Companies like Intel, Google, News Corp, Yahoo, and eBay were founded by innovative immigrants and now employ tens of thousands of people. According to new research, immigrants have created nearly half of America's top venture-backed companies and those companies in turn have created an average of 150 jobs each. Immigration has historically made our economy stronger. This bill embraces that history and encourages the world's thinkers and doers to join us."

"By failing to fix our legal immigration system, we only hurt ourselves," said Gutiérrez. "We are closing off America at our peril.  This bill is intended to address just one aspect: making the U.S. economy more attractive to job-creators and entrepreneurs.  Our nation thrives on the injection of new ideas and ways of doing business – and always has.  In Chicago, Silicon Valley and everywhere else in the U.S., this bill will help America compete on a global scale by making legal immigration attainable for people willing to invest in America's success." 

The EB-JOBS Act will:

  • Promote innovation by entrepreneurs who establish businesses and create jobs in the United States, including provisions for venture capital-funded as well as self-sponsored start-ups.
  • Promote investment in the American economy by permanently authorizing the EB-5 Regional Center Program.
  • Provide sensible reforms to the EB-5 program to ensure program integrity.
  • Provide additional certainty to investors and target investment in rural areas, areas with high unemployment, and other areas of interest.
  • Permanently authorize the expiring Conrad 30 J-1 program and reauthorize the expiring E-Verify and Special Immigration Nonminister Religious Worker programs each for 5 years.

Click here for the full bill text and a section-by-section summary.

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