business-english-worldWhether you’ve been hearing the different opinions during the presidential debates or reading them online, the one thing that everyone can agree on is that the current American immigration system is seriously flawed, and no industry is getting quite such a beating as the tech industry. Instagram co-founder, Mike Krieger, said it took him less time to build Instagram than it did to get his US visa and Facebook relies on foreign workers so much that it’s one of the biggest companies dependent on the H-1B visa—a temporary visa designated for specialty workers.

With over 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US today, what can be done about the hot-bed problem of immigration in hopes of bringing back the spirit of entrepreneurialism, innovation, and productivity back to our great nation?

Today on ‘Dot Complicated with Randi Zuckerberg’ Randi discussed immigration reform with Todd Schulte, the President of FWD.US, Lynden Melmed, Partner at corporate immigration law firm Berry, Appleman and Leiden LLC, and Stephanie Lewin, Senior Associate at BAL.


“I think it’s critical people come forward and tell their story.”

“We believe that a healthy immigration reform is a huge strength for this country.”

“The technical term for having students come here and then send them elsewhere to grow other economies is “bonkers.”

“2 ½ years ago there was a real moment where comprehensive immigration reform had it’s moment.”

“1986 was the last time we had immigration reform. 29 years. Almost 3 decades. Atari was the tech company of the time.”

“The tech industry prides itself on creating opportunity that allows the best and brightest to succeed.”

“40% of startups are founded by immigrants or children of immigrants.”

“Our tech sector is being held back by the visa process.”

“We are fighting everyday to get Congress to pass immigration reform.”

“A year ago, President Obama was going to take Congressional action to improve the immigration reform with the ‘start-up visa’ allowing people to stay here.”

“There are a lot of presidential candidates doing a great job, and a lot doing a really bad job on immigration reform.”

“People are looking for a common-sense solution and want to hear that from candidates.”

“Passions run high on immigration. People can play to those emotions in bad ways.”

“The alternative to not stapling a green card to a STEM degree is watching skilled talent take their world-class education to other economies.”

“Tell your story or someone effected by the broken immigration system. Reach out to the policy makers. And pay attention to this presidential election.”


“One of the positive aspects of the debate is that people are willing to go out and discuss their own personal journey of becoming an immigrant.”

“It takes courage for people to come out and put themselves into a personal situation.”

“Policies affect people.”

“People forget the EB-5 is in the job creation category. You have to put your money at risk and prove that 10 jobs have been created with your investment.”

“Immigration can contribute to the economy.”

“The last few administrations looked for ways to retain foreign-born students in the US. It’s a challenge to do it within the 6 month time frame allotted.”

“Congress has not updated the annual caps for skilled immigrants for over 25 years.”

“Since 1990, the visa cap has been set at 85,000. This year over 200,000 applied for one.”

“The wait time to get a green card is 10 years. That’s a lot of uncertainty. It’s a silent killer in trying to get skilled workers into the US.”

“Other companies are catching up, investment follows skilled workers. They help the tax base.”

“When a company says they need to sponsor an employer they’re required to jump through hoops. They only go through this process if there really is the need.”

“The market needs to work. Companies need someone with the right experience to contribute something specific. It’s not a broad brush stroke.”

“The companies we work with believe there’s a shortage of the skills they need and are investing money to get the skilled workers they need.”

“The green card back lot has risen in the past 5-10 years. You used to only wait a year or two.”

“While waiting those 10 years for a green card, there’s a very good change that spouses and family members will not be able to work during that time.”

“For tech companies the strategy starts with an initial decision of time.”

“Most countries have some form of a work visa that take 3-6 months to get. It allows them to work for 3-6 years.”

“Immigration is an emotional issue. People want to understand what the practical solution is.

“Today if you’re at a small startup and someone needs a work visa, there’s really almost no option to get them one other than winning the H-1B lottery.”


“The EB-5 program allows people to invest in projects and speed up the process to obtain residency faster.”

“There’s smart people all over the world chasing the best and brightest. And for the US to be at the forefront of keeping the best and brightest is critical for the growth of the nation.”

“Inter-company programs are taking certain citizens and putting them in different subsidiaries around the globe.”

“You have corporate immigration and personal immigration. A presidential candidate who can separate the two will be the most successful.”

“I’m not a proponent for open boarders but there has to be some sort of a quota system.”

Join ‘Dot Complicated with Randi Zuckerberg next when she sits down with Jackie Schaffer, co-creator of the hit show “The League” and Erik Groset of to discuss the business of Fantasy Sports. Only on SiriusXM Business Channel 111 at 12pm ET/9am PT.