Sens. Mark Udall, D-Colo., John Kerry, D-Mass., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., are taking action, reintroducing the "StartUp Visa Act," a bill they originally proposed two years ago. The act would allow "immigrant entrepreneurs and foreign graduates from U.S. universities to appeal for a two-year visa on the condition that they secure financing from a qualified U.S. investor and can demonstrate the ability to create American jobs."
From 1995 to 2005, immigrants helped found a quarter of all high-tech companies in America, creating 450,000 jobs, according to Partnership for a New American Economy.
America has a long history of immigrant entrepreneurs. John Nordstrom immigrated to the United States at the age of 16 and eventually founded Nordstrom's. The cofounders of Pfizer, Charles Pfizer and Charles Ernhard, moved from Germany as adults to start the pharmaceutical giant. And Andy Grove, cofounder of Intel, came to the United States at the age of 20 after escaping communist Hungary.
Aharoni hopes his name will one day be included in the pantheon of great American immigrants. For now, he's content with just being able to run his company from its office in San Francisco.