The New Schoolâ€™s Parsons School of Design, the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, the Fashion Innovation Alliance and the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School submitted comments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),Â U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)Â today, recommending that the Department keep the International Entrepreneur Rule in placeâ€”also referred to as a â€˜startup visaâ€™ alternative.
Addressed from the lens of international students and entrepreneurs integrating design and technology, the comment letter to DHS highlighted the global economic impact of fashion tech and why sound immigration policy is necessary for authentic inclusion. As explained in the joint comments, theÂ global fashion industry is one of the worldâ€™s largestâ€”worth an estimatedÂ $2.4 trillion globally and growing in economic impact through deeper integration of technology by entrepreneurs.
Here are highlights from the joint comments submitted to DHS:
Design integrated with art and technology drives the global economy.Â Many U.S. investors, accelerator programs and enterprise companies look to innovation and creative ideas from startups integrating design and technology. However, if these startups cannot make long-term plans due to uncertain immigration policies, it will become more difficult for the United States to benefit from the innovation and expertise of creative international entrepreneurs.
International students and immigrant entrepreneurs are a cornerstone of building authentic inclusivity and advancing the American economy.Â The inclusiveness and cross-disciplinary exchange of international students in art, design and technology not only helps to harness the creativity of the startup ecosystem globally, but it also leads to new collaborations and advancements benefiting the U.S. economy as a whole. However, without a clear path for immigrant entrepreneurs, such as the International Entrepreneur Rule, investors and recent graduates of cutting-edge cross-disciplinary programs will look outside the United States for opportunities.
Established companies look to startups for innovationâ€”some founded by immigrant entrepreneurs.Â Established companies in tech, fashion and beauty often support and invest in innovative startups. Many of the startup founders participating in accelerator programs and partnering with U.S. companies are international entrepreneurs. If the United States does not offer certainty and opportunities for international graduates and immigrant entrepreneurs to grow and scale their businesses in the United States, they will continue to seek opportunities abroad and U.S. companies will miss out on innovative partnerships.
Our full comments urging DHS to keep the International Entrepreneur Rule are available here.
For additional information on the International Entrepreneur Rule and its impact on the creative tech economy, our founderâ€™s article for CNN OpinionÂ can be found here.