The American Bar Association’s (ABA) governing body, the House of Delegates, voted in favor of Resolution 300, calling on Congress to create a new visa program designed to provide a mechanism for immigrant-entrepreneurs to enter or remain in the United States to build bona fide businesses. The initiative known as the “Startup Visa” has legislation pending in Congress that the ABA will now encourage such legislation be enacted into law.
“Immigrant-entrepreneurs face a patchwork of immigration laws which they may or may not be able to piece together to come, stay and build a business in the U.S.,” said Barbara Mayden in her speech to the ABA delegates. “Given the hurdles that exist here [for immigrant-entrepreneurs], many believe that greater opportunity exists elsewhere … this represents a relief well.”
The ABA resolution states that the “American Bar Association urges Congress to enact laws that provide for an immigration classification whereby foreign nationals intending to form businesses are provided a mechanism (such as Startup Visa) under which they can enter or remain in the United States to obtain permanent resident status in order to build such businesses.” This resolution authorizes the ABA to publicly support and advance these efforts to enact this key immigration reform. This support of the Startup Visa was initiated by the ABA’s Section of Business Law and co-sponsored by the Sections of International Law, Antitrust, and Real Property, as well as supported by the Commission on Immigration and the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities.
“The ABA represents a key voice of the legal community,” said Eric Koester, an author of the Startup Visa resolution. “We recognize that the Startup Visa initiative is crucial to help America continue its place as the center of entrepreneurship and technology. While there is certainly more work to be done to get this enacted, another ally has lined up behind the Startup Visa movement.”
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
Download a copy of the ABA’s resolution and report on the Startup Visa or replay the speech in support of the Startup Visa to the ABA by Barbara Mayden, the representative of the Section of Business Law.