Just yesterday, the Clinton campaign released their proposed Initiative on Technology and Innovation, with the belief that with the right public policies, social and economic inequality can be reduced, and American leadership on the global stage can be secured. The Tech & Innovation agenda touched on a great deal of tech issues — some of which are already in place by the Obama Administration. But the issues surrounding immigration seemed to strike a few chords — both positive and negative.
The Clinton campaign would like to make a point to attract and retain the top talent from around the world, and plan to do this by clearing the backlogs and removing the barriers foreign entrepreneurs face when pursuing green cards.
Hillary would allow international students with STEM degrees to move to green card status as long as they continued to contribute to the US economy.
Hillary also plans to give start-up visas to top foreign entrepreneurs who come to the U.S. to build companies in technology-oriented globally traded sectors, creating jobs for Americans. While this portion of the initiative definitely sounds like a “pro,” it’s being harshly compared to other investor visa programs that have been pegged as gateways for wealthy immigrants to buy their way into the green card system.
The campaign also proposed to defer student loans in hopes of helping young American entrepreneurs to pursue their business goals – leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs and innovators who are launching their own start-ups.
Hillary believes that student loan debt and lack of credit are key barriers for young entrepreneurs, and to help overcome these obstacles, entrepreneurs will be allowed to put their student loans into special status just until their start-up gets off the ground. The deferment agreement would prevent the founders and the first 10-20 employees from having to make payments, zero interest and principal, for up to three years – which is known as the critical start-up phase for new enterprises.
It gets even better for those entrepreneurs who wish to launch their new businesses in distressed communities, or enterprises that have a measurable social impact or benefit. Participants will receive $17,500 in student loan forgiveness after five years. With experts estimating this spring’s graduating class to be carrying at least $37,000 in student loan debt for each individual student, $17.5K in loan forgiveness doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.