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Why Skilled Immigrants Matter

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Published on Nov 20, 2012

In 2005, immigrant entrepreneurs launched 52% of all startups in Silicon Valley. But today the number has dropped to 44%, and America is not only losing the opportunity to create new jobs but also losing its competitive edge, argues Vivek Wadhwa in his short, passionately argued book, The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent. Unlike during the 1980s, when skilled immigrants could get green cards (that let them become permanent residents of the U.S.) in as little as 18 months, today it can take as long as 17 years. Failure to fix this problem, says Wadhwa in an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, is killing American innovation and entrepreneurship.

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