Posts

NO-WIN IMMIGRATION POLICY: DENYING H-1B EXTENSIONS TO SKILLED WORKERS FROM INDIA SO THAT THEY SELF-DEPORT

There are many people born in India, and to a lesser extent China, who have been patiently waiting for over a decade for their green cards. They have complied with all immigration formalities and the only thing holding them back is an available visa. The law allows them to continue working on extended H-1B visas while they wait legally in the United States. President Trump, in the name of protecting US workers, wants to send these skilled workers home to wait for their green cards. This is consistent with the Trump administration’s goal to destabilize the immigration system – from the travel ban aimed at Muslims to depriving skilled workers on H-1B visas to remain in their jobs and contribute to the United States.

A McClatchy press report  has sent shock waves within the backlogged H-1B community, as well as alarmed employers who sponsor skilled foreign workers for visas and green cards, attorneys and all people concerned about fairness. The report cites credible sources within the Department of Homeland Security who say that they are drafting a proposal to restrict H-1B visa extensions beyond the six-year limitation, which would result in the “self-deportation” of tech workers, thus opening up jobs for Americans in furtherance of President Trump’s Buy American Hire American Executive Order. Such a move is completely counter intuitive as these H-1B workers have all been beneficiaries of approved labor certification applications that resulted in unsuccessful attempts at locating qualified US workers to perform these specialized duties.

There are reportedly more than 1 million H-1B visa holders in the country, mainly from India, that have been waiting for green cards for more than a decade. Although the H-1B visa’s maximum duration is 6 years, those who are caught in the green card backlogs can apply for either a 3-year extension or a 1-year extension under the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21).

The DHS is specifically looking to reinterpret Section 104(c) of AC21, which provides for a 3-year extension of H-1B visas beyond the 6-year limitation. In order to be eligible for a 3-year extension under 104(c), the H-1B visa holder must be the beneficiary of an approved employment-based I-140 petition and must also demonstrate eligibility for adjustment of status but for the visa not being available as a result of the per country limitation. Section 104(c), however, states that the beneficiary of an I-140 petition “may apply” and the Attorney General (and by extension the DHS) “may grant” such an H-1B extension.

Since the enactment into law in 2000, prior administrations under Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have routinely granted 3-year H-1B extensions under 104(c). Even if the statute indicates that the government “may grant” the extension, such discretion cannot be used to arbitrarily deny H-1B visa extensions and thus eviscerate Congressional intent. The purpose of Section 104(c) was to provide relief to those in H-1B visa status who are caught in the employment-based backlogs as a result of the per-country limitation. India and China are the two countries where the per country limit within the employment-based second and third preferences have been oversubscribed. The extended H-1B visa has provided a lifeline to skilled workers who are otherwise eligible for green cards but for their priority dates not being current.

When a statutory provision bestows discretion through words such as “may grant,” such discretion cannot be exercised in an arbitrary and capricious manner. The Supreme Court’s opinion in Judulang v. Holder, 565 U. S. ____ (2011) has provided parameters under which a government agency may exercise discretion in the immigration context relating to a waiver under Section 212(c). The following interesting discussion is worth noting:

This case requires us to decide whether the BIA’s policy for applying §212(c) in deportation cases is “arbitrary [or] capricious” under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U. S. C. §706(2)(A).  The scope of our review under this standard is “narrow”; as we have often recog­nized, “a court is not to substitute its judgment for that of the agency.” Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Assn. of United States, Inc. v. State Farm Mut. Automobile Ins. Co., 463 U. S. 29, 43 (1983); see Citizens to Preserve Overton Park, Inc. v. Volpe, 401 U. S. 402, 416 (1971). Agencies, the BIA among them, have expertise and experience in administering their statutes that no court can properly ignore. But courts retain a role, and an important one, in ensuring that agencies have engaged in reasoned decision making. When reviewing an agency action, we must assess, among other matters, “‘whether the decision was based on a consideration of the relevant factors and whether there has been a clear error of judgment.’” State Farm, 463 U. S., at 43 (quoting Bowman Transp., Inc. v. Arkansas-Best Freight System, Inc., 419 U. S. 281, 285 (1974)). That task involves examining the reasons for agency deci­sions—or, as the case may be, the absence of such reasons. See FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., 556 U. S. 502, 515 (2009) (noting “the requirement that an agency pro­vide reasoned explanation for its action”).  The BIA has flunked that test here. By hinging a de­portable alien’s eligibility for discretionary relief on the chance correspondence between statutory categories—a matter irrelevant to the alien’s fitness to reside in this country—the BIA has failed to exercise its discretion in a reasoned manner.

. . . .

The BIA may well have legitimate reasons for limiting §212(c)’s scope in deportation cases. But still, it must do so in some rational way. If the BIA proposed to narrow the class of deportable aliens eligible to seek §212(c) relief by flipping a coin—heads an alien may apply for relief, tails he may not—we would reverse the policy in an instant. That is because agency action must be based on non-arbitrary, “‘relevant factors,’” State Farm, 463 U. S., at 43 (quoting Bowman Transp., 419 U. S., at 285), which here means that the BIA’s approach must be tied, even if loosely, to the purposes of the immi­gration laws or the appropriate operation of the immigra­tion system. A method for disfavoring deportable aliens that bears no relation to these matters—that neither focuses on nor relates to an alien’s fitness to remain in the country—is arbitrary and capricious. And that is true regardless whether the BIA might have acted to limit the class of deportable aliens eligible for §212(c) relief on other, more rational bases.

The key in determining whether denying a 3-year H-1B extension is arbitrary is “whether the decision was based on a consideration of the relevant factors and whether there has been a clear error of judgment.” Is the DHS proposal to restrict 3-year H-1B extensions based on “relevant factors” or is it planning to disfavor a class of noncitizens through the mere flipping of a coin? The DHS’s proposal will likely fail under this test as 104(c)’s plain language requires the government to grant the extension so long as the prerequisites have been met. This means that so long as one who is in H-1B status is the beneficiary of an approved I-140, and the priority dates is not yet current, this person should be granted a 3-year extension.  Even justifying the “self-deportation” of hundreds of thousands to protect US workers under the BAHA Executive Order is no excuse. BAHA was not around when AC21 was enacted in 2000.  If the DHS seems to reinterpret 104(c) in light of BAHA, this decision can be challenged as it is contrary to the plain meaning of 104(c) as well as Congressional intent. The concern under INA § 212(a)(5) that US workers be protected was already met through the labor certification or by seeking an exemption of it through the national interest waiver. The imposition of BAHA should not upend the carefully crafted statutory structure enacted by Congress over the years.

Moreover, a presidential executive order cannot supersede a law previously passed by Congress. A case in point is Chamber of Commerce v. Reich,  74 F.3d 1322 (1996) which held that a 1995 executive order of President Clinton violated a provision of the National Labor Relations Act. President Clinton’s EO No. 12, 954 declared that federal agencies shall not contract with employers that permanently replace lawfully striking employees. The lower district court held that the president’s interpretation of a statute was entitled to deference under Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. NRDC, 467 U.S. 837 (1984).  The DC Court of Appeals, however, overruled the district court, without explicitly stating whether the president’s interpretation was entitled to Chevron deference or not. Based on the holding in Chamber of Commerce v. Reich, if H-1B visa extensions are denied under President Trump’s interpretation of AC21 provisions pursuant to the BAHA Executive Order, they too ought to be challenged as being violative of the INA and it ought to be further argued that the president’s interpretation of a statutory provision, unlike a government agency, is not entitled to Chevron deference.

The title to 104(c) “One-Time Protection Under Per Country Ceiling” does not mean that it empowers the Trump administration to restrict its application to a one-time 3-year extension. The title can clarify an ambiguous statute but shouldn’t be used to contradict the text of the statute. In this case, the text of 104(c) clearly states that three year extensions can be granted indefinitely until the “alien’s application for adjustment of status has been processed and a decision made thereon.” See  Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp. v. Halderman, 451 U.S. 1, 19 n.14 (1981) (the title of an Act cannot enlarge or confer powers); INS v. National Center for Immigrants’ Rights, 502 U.S. 183, 189-90 (1991) (the title of a statute or section can aid in resolving an ambiguity in the legislation’s text).

The Retention of EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers  that took effect on January 17, 2017 further restrains the government’s ability to restrict H-1B extensions under 104(c).  Current 8 CFR § 214.2(h)(13)(iii)(E)(i), which implements 104(c),  does not appear to give broad discretion and pertains more to granting discretion with respect to the validity period, as follows:

Validity periods. USCIS may grant validity periods for petitions approved under this paragraph in increments of up to 3 years for as long as the alien remains eligible for this exemption.

 This suggests that if the priority date is likely to become current imminently, the USCIS may shorten the time period of the H-1B extension to less than 3 years. The USCIS may also shorten the validity period if it is planning to revoke an approved I-140 petition if it believes it was previously erroneously granted. These sorts of discretion would pass muster and could have been contemplated under 104(c) when Congress said that the DHS “may grant” the extension. On the other hand, a new rule that would wholesale preclude the granting of a 3-year H-1B extension would be a completely erroneous reading of 104(c) and should certainly invite a lawsuit to challenge the Trump administration’s capricious interpretation. Even an H-1B worker, rather than an employer, should be able to sue as plaintiff  following the Supreme Court’s decision in Lexmark Int’l Inc. v. Static Control Components, 134 S.Ct. 1377 (2014), which held that a plaintiff has the ability to sue when his or her claim is within the zone of interests a statute or regulation protects. See also Mantena v. Johnson, 809 F.3d 721 (2015) and Kurupati v. USCIS, 775 F.3d 1255 (2014). The proposal appears to be based on pure xenophobia by the Trump administration to curb legal immigration of legitimate skilled workers from India and China who have been waiting for years in the green card backlogs. It does not protect American workers as the labor market has already been tested. Trump’s animus towards immigrants can also be cited in a future court challenge, as was successfully done in court challenges against the travel ban where Trump’s utterances and tweets against Muslims were invoked. Trump’s animus was further evident in a recent New York Times article that described President Trump angrily disparaging bona fide Haitian visitors by assuming they all had AIDS and Nigerian visitors who would “never go back to their huts.”   President Trump’s sentiments reflect the true underpinnings behind his administration’s new immigration policy –  white nationalism, which can be used to show bad faith if the USCIS starts denying 3-year H-1B extensions.

The Trump administration will have less scope to play mischief with the ability to seek a 1-year H-1B extension under Section 106(a) and (b) of AC21.  Section 106(b) states that the Attorney General “shall” extend H-1B status in increments of 1 year provided a labor certification or I-140 was filed one year prior to the final year in H-1B status, and until the labor certification, I-140 or adjustment of status is denied.  It is not the case that 104(c) is surplusage, as contended by an activist  organization that supports backlogged H-1B visa holders, and so one who qualifies under 104(c) will also be eligible for the grant of a 1-year extension under section 106.  104(c) allows for longer extensions and removes the need to file for extensions every year, and so it is clearly providing an additional benefit. 8 CFR §§ 214.2(h)(13)(iii)(D)(2) and (10), the rules that implement 106(a) and (b), give further support to this position as they both contemplate an approved I-140 petition while an H-1B beneficiary seeks a 1-year extension beyond the sixth year.  The widely held view is that either section can be applicable when its own conditions are met.  There are some cases where only 104(c) is available (where the labor certification was filed in the sixth year or final year of H-1B status and the I-140 is approved in that year), some cases where only 106(a)-(b) is available (where the labor cert or I-140  filed one year before the 6th year is still pending or where the priority date is current), and some cases where both are available but 104(c) gives greater benefits. Even when both are available, at times, for strategic reasons, one may wish to still seek an H-1B extension for 1 year under 106(b) if the priority date will become current at the time of adjudication of the extension request.   Nothing in the text or logic of the statute indicates that 106(a)-(b) ceases to become available, when it otherwise would be, simply because 104(c) is also available.

While the need of the hour is to oppose any arbitrary changes in interpreting 104(c), the ultimate goal is to reduce the green card backlogs. AC21 is a mere band-aid that provides relief to H-1B workers in a hopelessly broken immigration system that keeps them from getting green cards for years on end. HR 392 is one vehicle through which the backlogs can get reduced through elimination of per country limits. Still, HR 392 is not the magical elixir as backlogs will likely remain, but they will be far less. In fact, all will likely face a few years of backlogs if the per country limits are eliminated. If we can also hope for the unitary counting of derivatives in addition to HR 392, that will completely drain the employment-based system of backlogs. While all this is wishful thinking under a Trump administration, it never hurts to strive for a sensible winning immigration reform for the good of the country. Until backlogs are completely eliminated, the ability of skilled workers to remain in the US and extend H-1B status should never be taken away through policies inspired by white nationalism and xenophobia under the Trump administration. This can be the only explanation for attacking immigration in a full employment economy and BAHA is only thinly veiled nativism. In conclusion, just because a statute says “may” does not mean that the Trump administration can capriciously defeat the will of Congress by denying H-1B extensions to hundreds of thousands of Indians so that they may self-deport – an action that is a no-win for the United States or the foreign national skilled worker. Fortunately, there is enough protection in the AC21 law that will make it very hard for the Trump administration to see the light of the day with such a loser immigration policy.

 

 

 

 

Is Hillary Clinton’s Silence On H-1B Visas Golden?

The USCIS announced on May 2, 2016 that it will be returning H-1B petitions that have not been selected in this year’s H-1B lottery. Since USCIS received 236,000 H-1B petitions subject to the quota for fiscal year 2017, which is 65,000 for regular H-1B petitions plus another 20,000 for those with advanced degrees from U.S. universities, there will be more H-1B petitions that will get rejected than accepted. The H-1B lottery undermines US employers who wish to hire talented foreign workers and it also crushes the hopes of prospective foreign workers who will no longer get an opportunity to work in the United States, and contribute to its growth and prosperity.

Presidential candidates like Trump, Cruz and Sanders have come out against the H-1B, and have promised to restrict it even further, even when the current status quo is completely unacceptable. Clinton has remained silent on H-1Bs, and this may be a good thing. Here is my take on Clinton’s position on H-1B visas that was recently published in The Economic Times, http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/visa-and-immigration/is-hillary-clintons-silence-on-h-1b-visas-golden/articleshow/52057165.cms

Hillary Clinton has surprisingly not said anything about H-1B visas in her presidential campaign, unlike other candidates such as Trump, Sanders and Cruz who have come out stridently against so called H-1B abuses. The H-1B visa has become controversial since 2015 after the media reported on US workers being laid off upon American companies contracting with India-based IT firms to take over their IT functions. If Clinton does support an increase in H-1B visa numbers and understands the benefit that the H-1B program brings to US companies and to the consumer, perhaps it is strategic for her to not say anything at this point.

In the past, Clinton has spoken in support of increasing H-1B visas such as in a 2007 speech to Silicon Valley executives when she said, “I am reaffirming my commitment to the H1B visa and increasing the current cap. Foreign skilled workers contribute greatly to what we have to do in being innovators.” When Clinton was a Senator from New York in 2003 she inaugurated the offices of TCS in Buffalo. However, when America was in its worst recession in 2009, she said while visiting India, “Outsourcing is a concern for many communities and businesses in my country.”

Clinton, on the other hand, has spoken forcefully in favor of Comprehensive Immigration Reform in her campaign, which includes reforming the immigration system as a whole, and she is absolutely committed to pushing for CIR within the first 100 days of her presidency. If there is any compromise on H-1B visas as part of a deal on CIR, such as increasing the H-1B cap in exchange for imposing certain restrictions on IT companies, I believe she will go for a deal if it brings CIR into fruition.

Clinton’s silence on H-1B visas is a good sign when the visa program has become so poisoned in recent times. However, if she is pushed by Trump in the general election campaign, she may sound tougher on H-1B visas, although this may all be part of campaign rhetoric. Based on her past statements in support of H-1B visas, and her silence in this campaign, means that she will probably support the H-1B visa program if she is elected President, and will push Congress in the direction of expanding rather than curtailing the H-1B visa.

The Sweet Smell of Success: H-1B Visas for Entrepreneurs

By Gary Endelman and Cyrus D. Mehta

The title of this blog may seem odd as the H-1B visa is usually associated with an employee who earns a regular wage at the prevailing rate. Yet, entrepreneurs may benefit from the H-1B. Since the USCIS recently set up an Entrepreneur Pathways Portal inviting entrepreneurs to use existing nonimmigrant visas, including the H-1B visa, an analysis on how the H-1B visa can be legitimately exploited by entrepreneurs is worthy of further  exploration.

At the outset, it is worth noting that law is neither applied nor interpreted in a vacuum but is suffused with the attitudes and assumptions of the adjudicator. The same is true here. What does the USCIS want to achieve through its new embrace of foreign entrepreneurs? What is its end goal? Does it accept the legitimacy of the H-1B and does it believe that its proper application or deployment will be in the national interest? Unless we know these things first, no formula or set of legal guidelines can result in a proper, informed decision.  In the end, unless and until the moral and ethical legitimacy of employment based immigration is both embraced and appreciated, there will not be the intellectual flexibility necessary to help entrepreneurs reach their dreams.

Last week’s blog summarized the nonimmigrant options for entrepreneurs suggested in Entrepreneur Pathways, and it also speculated whether this new welcoming embrace of foreign entrepreneurs may possibly change the “Culture of No” within USCIS, whose officials generally places a small business under a fraud profile. A startup may be even more rudimentary than an established small business and thus more susceptible to being viewed as a fraudulent artifice. Startups may not yet be generating a revenue stream as they are developing new technologies that may lead to products and services later on. Many have received financing through venture capital, angel investors or through “Series A and B” rounds of shares. Startups may also operate in more informal spaces, such as the residences of the founders (with regular meetings at Starbucks) instead of a commercial premise. Some are also operating in “stealth mode” so as not to attract the attention of competitors and may not display the usual bells and whistles such as a website or other marketing material. Startups may also not have payroll records since founders may be compensated in stock options. Still, such startups are legitimate companies that should be able to support H-1B, L, O or other visa statuses. While, in the past, USCIS has often been accused by critics of harboring a systemic bias against small business, Entrepreneur Pathways holds out the promise of a new and more welcoming attitude. The degree to which this flexibility will operate in practice will depend, in large measure, on the extent to which emerging companies and inventive business strategists press their case for immigration benefits.

Regarding the H-1B visa, it is true that 8 CFR § 214.2(h)(4)(ii) requires the existence of an employer-employee relationship, which includes the employer’s ability to “hire, pay, fire, supervise, or otherwise control the work of such employee.” Can the startup owner be able to sponsor himself or herself on an H-1B through the startup? The USCIS portal is surprisingly receptive, but still limited by the rigid methodology and narrow assumptions of the Neufeld Memo that elevates the right of control over all the other factors set forth in the regulation, such as the right to hire, pay, fire or supervise the employee. Still, the USCIS suggests that a startup may be able to demonstrate this if the ownership and control of the company are different. This can be shown through a “board of directors, preferred shareholders, investors, or other factors that the organization has the right to control the terms and conditions of the beneficiary’s employment (such as the right to hire, fire, pay, supervise or otherwise control the terms and conditions of employment).” Some of the suggested evidence could include a term sheet, capitalization table, stock purchase agreement, investor rights agreement, voting agreement or organization documents and operating agreements. Not only can observance of corporate formalities serve legitimate business interests and avoid the “piercing of the corporate veil”, by providing the patina of control over individual initiative they may also serve to convey immigration benefits.

The ethos of any new business idea is change, an unwillingness to sacrifice creativity and growth on the alter of certainty.  It is the preference for certainty, however, most notably reflected in the Neufeld Memo that  may make it difficult for the 100% owner of a startup to successfully obtain an H-1B visa. If the beneficiary has not only conceptualized the business, but also invested only her own capital, it will be difficult for her to have a board of directors that can have the ability to discipline or fire her. Indeed, noted attorney David Ware asks a good question: “What entrepreneur in his or her right mind is going to invest blood, sweat and tears, not to mention money, in an entity holding this power?”  If we expect the entrepreneur to take a chance, must not the USCIS itself accept some measure of risk?  Concern over fraud, while totally legitimate, must be balanced against no less compelling concerns for allowing the honest expression of commercial imagination.

Although Mr. Ware’s point is well taken, we caution against being completely dismissive of the USCIS effort to welcome entrepreneurs, especially the H-1B visa, which one can have more access to over other visas such as the O-1, E-2 or L-1A. The agile practitioner should invoke old decisions that recognize the separate existence of the corporate entity. It is well established that a corporation is a separate and distinct legal entity from its owners and stockholders. See Matter of M, 8 I&N Dec. 24, 50 (BIA 1958, AG 1958); Matter of Aphrodite Investments Limited, 17 I&N Dec. 530 (Comm.1980); and Matter of Tessel, 17 I&N Dec. 631 (Act. Assoc. Comm. 1980).  As such, a corporation, even if it is owned and operated by a single person, may hire that person, and the parties will be in an employer-employee relationship. This point needs to be brought out when advancing an H-1B for an entrepreneur. Still, we acknowledge that the H-1B petition may have more success when there is another investor or shareholder, and the beneficiary is not the sole owner of the entity. That person may be able to exercise control over the H-1B beneficiary, even if he or she has a minority interest. It may not be necessary to show that the other individual or entity has the power to discipline the beneficiary, but only that this person can exercise negative control over the beneficiary’s decisions. There is nothing preventing the other individual from being a family member, and the shareholder or director also need not be residing in the US.

There are other difficulties for an H-1B entrepreneur that may be beyond the USCIS’s control. Every H-1B petition must be accompanied by a certified Labor Condition Application from the DOL. Under an LCA, the employer attests that it must pay the beneficiary the higher of the prevailing or actual wage, and must also do so on a regular prorated basis. In a startup, there may be no revenue stream to pay the entrepreneur initially. Thus, unless the startup is sufficiently capitalized through venture capital or other forms of financing that can ensure a steady stream of income to the H-1B beneficiary at the required wage, the petitioning entity may be in violation of the DOL rules if it cannot guarantee a regular prevailing wage.

Also, a DOL rule at 20 CFR § 655.731(c)(9)(iii)(C) states that any attorney fees paid by the H-1B beneficiary will be viewed as a lowering of the required wage that the employer is required to pay the beneficiary. There is also a prohibition of the employee paying the training fee of $750 or $1,500. In the case of a startup, where the H-1B beneficiary has invested his own money into the enterprise, the fact that the petitioning entity makes these payments ought not to be viewed as a violation of the DOL rules regarding impermissible payments. Since it is the entity that is making these payments, which is considered separate from the beneficiary, and which also controls the beneficiary, it should not be viewed as impermissible. Otherwise, there is no way that the USCIS can promote the H-1B to entrepreneurs.

Even if an H-1B founder of a company successfully establishes that the entity can control her employment through a board of directors or through preferred shareholders, the USCIS could likely challenge whether a position in a startup, where the beneficiary may be wearing many hats, can support a specialized position. The H-1B visa law requires the petitioner to demonstrate that a bachelor’s degree in a specialized field is the minimum qualification for entry into that occupation. Also, positions in innovative startups may not necessarily fit under the occupations listed in the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbookbut may yet require at least a bachelor’s degree. It is hoped that USCIS examiners are trained to be receptive to other evidence to demonstrate that the position requires a bachelor’s degree. Furthermore, an MBA degree should be considered a specialized degree in itself since many MBA programs at top business schools focus on entrepreneurship and other fields, such as technology or web analytics, which equip one to be a successful entrepreneur. The very notion of specialized occupations has and will continue to change as the pervasive impact of technology in the Internet Age makes itself felt at all levels of economic activity.

While there are insurmountable hurdles for H-1B entrepreneurs, it is hoped that the USCIS will make every effort for the program to work for them. The H-1B is the most accessible visa to a foreign student as the E-2 visa only applies to nationals of limited countriesthat have a treaty with the US, and none of the BRIC countries have such treaties. Very few entrepreneurs can qualify as extraordinary under the O-1 and the L-1A visa would only apply to an individual who has been employed overseas for one year in the past three years in an entity that has a parent, subsidiary, affiliate or branch in the US. It also raises a larger question: How can we use US immigration policy not merely to preserve the status quo but actually create wealth and jobs? For it to work successful, USCIS officials have to examine and approve cases consistent with this objective. The problem goes beyond the “Culture of No.” The USCIS should think of immigration in a strategic sense as a mechanism to create wealth and expand the economy. Presently, USCIS thinks in static terms so naturally the focus is on protecting what now is and judging people not by their potential but by their documented accomplishments. USCIS, on the other hand, should think like an entrepreneur so as to avoid a dissonance or disconnect between the regulators and those whom they regulate. The USCIS Entrepreneur in Residence program, from which the Entrepreneur Pathways portal has ensued, appears to be a step in the right direction. Only time will tell whether it will truly serve the needs of entrepreneurs. The willingness of the entrepreneur to take risks must be matched in full measure by an immigration system that also embraces the value of innovation. As T.S Elliot famously reminded us: “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go.”