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The Trump administration just blocked an Obama-era rule for foreign “startup visas”

The Trump administration is halting an Obama-era rule that would have allowed foreign business leaders who start companies in the United States to live here. The program, known as the International Entrepreneur Rule, was set to take effect a week from today, but a forthcoming notice to be published on the Federal Registry says the Department of Homeland Security is delaying the effective date while it seeks public comment on a proposed rule that would eliminate it altogether. 

The so-called “startup visa” program is favored by many executives in the tech industry who say immigrant entrepreneurs are proven job creators. A study last year from the National Foundation for American Policy found that just over half of all billion-dollar U.S. startups were founded by immigrants. Trump’s plan to scrap the rule is already receiving blowback from executives like AOL cofounder Steve Case, as Bloomberg reported.

In a statement, a DHS spokesman took issue with the characterization of the rule as a “startup visa” program. “Only Congress can create a new visa program, and it has not done so,” the spokesman said. “DHS still has the statutory authority to use its discretion to grant parole on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.”

[Photo: Unsplash user Sofia Sforza]CZ