(Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP)
Judging from President Donald Trump’s announced intention to kill a program aimed at allowing foreign founders of successful startup firms to stay in the United States, he is not content with being the most anti-immigration, anti-environment and anti-free press U.S. leader in recent memory. He now wants to become the most anti-innovation one.
In a move that has drawn fire from some of the best-known U.S. technology innovators, the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security announced July 10 that it will postpone until March 14, 2018 — and “may ultimately eliminate” — the so-called U.S. startup visa program.
The program, the International Entrepreneur Rule, was supposed to start this month. It was launched by former President Barack Obama toward the end of his term, and the Obama administration had estimated at the time that it would draw about 2,940 applications for temporary visas annually.
To be eligible for these visas, foreign innovators had to show that they had raised at least $250,000 from established U.S. investors, or more than $100,000 in U.S. government grants.
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