Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and Committee Member Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced the "American Investment and Job Creation Act of 2012" (H.R. 6210). The AIJC Act would amend existing immigration laws to spur new foreign investment, business development and job creation in the United States, particularly in economically troubled areas, such as Detroit. Specifically, the bill would prioritize existing employment-based green cards for entrepreneurs who start new businesses in the U.S. and create jobs for American workers. Our immigration laws currently provide only temporary visas, such as E-2 "treaty investor visas," for such foreign entrepreneurs.
"The American Investment and Job Creation Act will help cities like Detroit that have been especially affected by the economic recession to spur economic growth, increase employment opportunities for American workers, and begin to reverse decades of population decline," said Conyers.
"Currently, our immigration system provides green cards to those who fill jobs in the American economy, but not to those who create jobs. This makes no sense. The lack of a path to permanent residency deters many entrepreneurs from helping to revitalize our economy and lower unemployment.
"The bill would address this concern by making existing employment-based green cards available to those who establish new businesses and create and sustain jobs for American workers. Particular emphasis is placed on small business development and job creation in areas with high unemployment or that have experienced significant losses in population. This change will further incentivize entrepreneurs to invest in the American economy. And that is a win-win situation.
"The American Renewal and Investment Act is a common-sense bill that refocuses our immigration laws so that they better serve the needs of our country and its citizens. I am happy to be working with my Judiciary Committee colleague from the other side of the aisle, Jason Chaffetz, and to count the support of various business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Venture Capital Association, the National Small Business Association, and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. This is an immigration bill that people from all sides should be able to support. I am hopeful we can move this bipartisan, commonsense legislation after the summer recess."