Lofgren Sponsors Bill to Promote Innovation, Research and Job Growth
June 14, 2011
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) today introduced the Immigration
Driving Entrepreneurship in America (IDEA) Act of 2011, which allows
American companies to attract and retain highly-skilled foreign graduates of
American universities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
fields. The IDEA Act would also create a new green card category for
entrepreneurs who establish new start-up businesses, create jobs for
American workers, and invest in the American economy. The legislation
reforms the current H-1B and L-1B visa programs to better protect workers
from exploitation and prevent the undercutting of American wages. The fees
generated by these new visa categories and reforms would be invested in our
educational system to better prepare American students for the jobs of
It makes no sense for us to educate the world’s brightest students and then
ship them back to their home countries to compete against us. My bill would
allow some of the world’s sharpest minds to stay in the United States and
help us grow our economy.
For generations, immigrants have flocked to our shores to build their dreams
, and in turn they have grown our economy and provided hundreds of thousands
of jobs to their fellow Americans. Companies like Intel, Google, News Corp,
Yahoo, and eBay were founded by innovative immigrants and now employ tens
of thousands of people. More than 52 percent of Silicon Valley startups were
founded or co-founded by immigrants, and immigrant-founded companies
produced $52 billion in sales and employed 450,000 workers in 2005.
Immigration has historically made our economy stronger. My bill embraces
that history and encourages the world’s thinkers and doers to join us.
The bills primary provisions would:
• Help American companies attract and retain the best and the
brightest workers by empowering them to seek green cards for advanced degree
graduates in STEM fields from the most distinguished American universities.
• Attract new businesses by awarding green cards to entrepreneurs
with significant venture capital funding who agree to open their start-ups
in the U.S.
• Incentivize job creation by awarding green cards to entrepreneurs
who create new jobs for at least 10 American workers. • Fix our
employment-based immigration system by eliminating backlogs and streamlining
• Protect American workers by increasing wages and reforming the
broken H-1B and L-1 visa programs.
• Better prepare American students for jobs in new technologies by
investing significant capital into improving STEM education in the U.S.
• Promote investment in the American economy by reforming the EB-5
Employment Creation Investor Program.
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is serving her ninth term in Congress representing
most of the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County. Congresswoman Lofgren
is Chair of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation consisting of
33 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives from California.