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Public Statements

Udall, Flake Reintroduce Bill to Help Foreign Entrepreneurs to Start Businesses, Create Jobs in United States

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Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) announced today that they will reintroduce the bipartisan Startup Visa Act. This bipartisan legislation would help foreign entrepreneurs and highly skilled college graduates of U.S. universities to create jobs in the United States.

"The United States has a proud history of creating opportunity for entrepreneurs from around the world by giving them a home to innovate and create jobs," Udall said. "That's why I have fought in Congress to pass the Startup Visas Act -- legislation supported by both Democrats and Republicans, as well as President Obama -- as part of comprehensive immigration reform. We are a stronger and better country because of our immigrants."

"The economic boost that will be felt as a result of allowing more foreign-born entrepreneurs to create their businesses here alone makes this a commonsense bill," Flake said. "By providing a strong incentive for the creation of private-sector jobs, we can only strengthen the U.S. economy, and our place within the global economy. I'm proud to join with Senator Udall to push for the swift passage of this pragmatic legislation."

Udall, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) introduced the Startup Visa Act in 2011 with the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to allow immigrant entrepreneurs and foreign graduates from U.S. universities to become legal residents if they start a business and create jobs. Udall touted the legislation at the time in an op-ed in the Colorado Springs Gazette.

This proposal would allow foreign entrepreneurs who attract financing from U.S. investors or revenue from U.S. customers to start and grow their businesses in the United States. Additionally, it would allow these immigrants to remain in the country permanently if their companies create jobs for American workers and strengthen the economy.


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