The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a rule to end a program that allows certain foreign entrepreneurs to be considered for parole to temporarily come to the United States to develop and build start-up businesses in the United States, known as the International Entrepreneur Rule (IE Final Rule).
The Obama-era initiative was designed to allow immigrants who were creating new companies (and new jobs) in the United States to remain in the country for two-and-a-half years (with the possibility for another two-and-a-half-year extension) as long as they were meeting milestones for company growth and development.
In July 2017, the DHS published a final rule to delay the implementation date of the IE Final Rule to March 14, 2018, to enable the Department to seek time to draft a regulation of the IE Final Rule. However, in December 2017, a federal court vacated the delay rule, requiring the USCIS to begin to accept international entrepreneur parole applications consistent with the IE Final Rule.
DHS has now proposed to eliminate the IE Final Rule because the department believes that the rule represents an overly broad interpretation of parole authority, lacks sufficient protections for U.S. workers and investors, and is not the appropriate source to attract and retain international entrepreneurs and investors.
By statute, the DHS has the discretionary authority to parole individuals into the United States temporarily, on a case-by-case basis, for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. After reviewing the DHS parole programs in accordance with the Executive Order titled Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, issued on Jan. 25, 2017, the DHS has proposed to remove regulations published as part of the IE Final Rule. DHS concluded that the IE Final Rule created a complex and highly-structured program that was best established by the legislative process rather than relying on an unorthodox use of the Secretary’s authority to “temporarily” parole, in a categorical way, aliens based on “significant public benefit”.
The Immigration and Nationality Act already provides for visa classifications that enable certain entrepreneurs to start businesses and work in the United States, such as the E-2 nonimmigrant classification and the EB-5 immigrant classification. The DHS is committed to reviewing all existing employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs to ensure program integrity and protect the interests of U.S. investors and workers.
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