By Catherine Clifford
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Giving more foreign entrepreneurs visas could help lower unemployment and jumpstart the economy, a nonpartisan research organization said.
The politically charged recommendation comes out of the Startup Act, a sweeping proposal released by the Kauffman Foundation Tuesday.
The Act proposes giving foreign entrepreneurs more access to visas and extending green cards to foreign students that graduate from U.S. universities with STEM degrees (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
“The startup engine is sputtering,” said Robert Litan, vice president of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation and one of the authors of The Startup Act. The number of startups that employ people has been declining as has the number of jobs that new firms are generating, he said.
Opponents to immigration reform argue that letting foreigners into the country would mean fewer jobs for Americans. But proponents counter that the United States needs foreign entrepreneurs who start companies and create jobs.