Today, the Trump Administration issued its formal proposal to rescind the International Entrepreneur Rule, a regulation designed to allow entrepreneurs to grow and scale their businesses in the U.S. This rule allowed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to use clear and careful criteria to identify, on a case-by-case basis, entrepreneurs who would provide significant benefits to the U.S.

To get growth, you need to support growth. And that means supporting immigrant entrepreneurs. According to the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), one-third of U.S. venture-backed companies that went public between 2006 and 2012 had at least one immigrant founder. Immigrants have started more than half of America's unicorns. And while immigrants make up 15 percent of the U.S. workforce, they comprise a quarter of our country's entrepreneurs.

The rescission of the International Entrepreneur Rule will deprive the U.S. of the opportunity to incubate great innovation and, more importantly, thousands of new jobs. Last year, the New American Economy immigration coalition found that, at a minimum, the IER would create 135,000 jobs over 10 years, with the potential to create more than 300,000.

The jobs we lose by preventing the founder of the next big company to stay in the U.S. won't simply disappear; they will go somewhere else. Overall global venture capital investment has increased since 2004, but the share invested in U.S. companies has declined significantly during that time--from 85 percent to 54 percent.

While American immigration laws compromise our ability to compete for the best talent, other countries are making it easier for foreign-born entrepreneurs to start or relocate businesses. Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and China are just a handful of the countries that have made smart reforms to replicate the conditions necessary for a vibrant entrepreneurial environment. And they are reaping the rewards. For example, investment in China-based venture capital-backed companies has grown at a faster pace faster than the U.S. and China now accounts for more than one-quarter of the global VC dollars invested.

The International Entrepreneur Rule is necessary to help level the playing field for the American economy and allow us to more fairly compete for the technology and jobs of tomorrow. To be clear, this isn't solely about luring more engineers to create companies in Silicon Valley. The International Entrepreneur Rule has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of high-quality jobs in Rise of the Rest cities between the coasts. Indeed, just last year, founders, investors, and civic leaders from the heartland implored President Trump to consider the enormous impact the rule could have on more nascent startup ecosystems located beyond traditional startup hubs.

America became the world's most innovative and entrepreneurial nation in part because we were immigrant-friendly. Students want to stay here and established entrepreneurs still want to come here. But all too often, our immigration system is now pushing these new founders and their potential contributions away.

The International Entrepreneur Rule offered an opportunity to reorient this trajectory. By allowing it to remain in place, the Trump Administration will help cement our entrepreneurial tradition and, most importantly, spur economic growth and job creation in the places that need it the most.

Published on: May 29, 2018