Venture capital’s national association has come out swinging against the Trump administration’s decision to delay the International Entrepreneur Rule.
A product of the final days of President Obama’s administration, the rule was designed to let talented immigrant entrepreneurs stay in the U.S. to build their companies. The two-and-a-half year period that immigrants would have to remain in the country would be predicated on their ability to create jobs in the U.S.
“Today’s announcement is extremely disappointing and represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the critical role immigrant entrepreneurs play in growing the next generation of American companies,” said Bobby Franklin, President and chief executive of NVCA, in a statement.
“At a time when countries around the world are doing all they can to attract and retain talented individuals to come to their shores to build and grow innovative companies, the Trump Administration is signaling its intent to do the exact opposite. Despite this setback, NVCA will continue to educate the Trump Administration on the important role immigrant founders play in growing our economy while advocating for full implementation of the rule,” Franklin said.
The NVCA isn’t alone in speaking out.
Steve Case, AOL’s co-founder and a longtime advocate for bringing more tech jobs to the U.S., has taken to Twitter to slam the decision.
It’s important to note that immigrants already have created tremendous value for the U.S. Indeed, more than half of the startups worth $1 billion or more were launched by immigrant founders.
The NVCA’s work on the International Entrepreneur Rule began last October, when the organization pushed to ensure that the rule would be finalized before the end of the Obama administration. The rules were finalized in January and were set to take effect this month.
Since the beginning of the year, the NVCA has been trying to work with the Trump administration on the rule — basically reiterating repeatedly that the rule would create jobs for American workers.
Last month, the organization brought several entrepreneurs and investors to the White House during the technology summit to further plead the case for the rule. Chief executive Franklin also published an Op-Ed on this site about why the International Entrepreneur Rule should be retained to grow jobs in the U.S.
These efforts appear to have been for nothing.
The question becomes how many times the NVCA can be rebuffed by the administration before it realizes that the conversations it’s having will not change anything.
It seems the last remaining hope for the organization is that Trump’s economic advisors will not try to go after a taxation of carried interest that would hit investors where it really hurts — their wallets.
Most of the decisions that the administration has made on any number of fronts — from slashing research budgets, to leaving unstaffed key positions overseeing science and technology research and operations within the federal government — have incredibly damaging implications for the entrepreneurs — and the industry that funds them.
At some point leaders of the technology industry (including venture capital’s industry organization) will need to do more than try to succor and suck up to the Trump administration and start advocating more aggressively for action from other corners.