Homeland Security proposes halting 'startup visas' for foreign entrepreneurs

Homeland Security proposes halting 'startup visas' for foreign entrepreneurs
© Greg Nash

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Friday proposed ending a rule that allows international entrepreneurs to temporarily stay in the U.S. to help develop their businesses in the country.

DHS said it wants to eliminate the Obama-era rule on so-called startup visas because it believes “it represents an overly broad interpretation of parole authority, lacks sufficient protections for U.S. workers and investors, and is not the appropriate vehicle for attracting and retaining international entrepreneurs.”

The rule was set to start in June 2017, but never gained traction after the Trump administration initially delayed its launch, CNN reported Friday.

"This decision to get rid of the International Entrepreneur Rule sends a chilling message to entrepreneurs and investors around the world that America doesn’t need or want them," TechNet President and CEO Linda Moore said in a statement to Axios.

DHS's proposal will be officially posted Tuesday, kicking off a 30-day public comment period.

The proposal from DHS comes the same day it announced it would allow 15,000 more seasonal workers into the country in 2018 under the H-2B visa program. The workers will be available for businesses at risk of failing without the extra workforce.

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Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenSessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' Trump digs in amid uproar on zero tolerance policy McCain calls on Trump to rescind family separation policy: It's 'an affront to the decency of the American people' MORE said that move was intended to offset the problems with the H-2B visa program that had led to "a situation where the program unintentionally harms American businesses."

Nielsen’s decision comes almost a month after it was reported that Maryland's crab industry lost about half of its workforce — an effect of the Trump administration's more stringent controls on temporary work visas.

Trump has continually said that he wants merit-based immigration. He made that plea again in February as senators negotiated a deal to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

"While the Republicans and Democrats in Congress are working hard to come up with a solution to DACA, they should be strongly considering a system of Merit Based Immigration so that we will have the people ready, willing and able to help all of those companies moving into the USA!" Trump wrote on Twitter.