President Barack Obama has used the case of an Indian-American woman who became an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, for whom it took an agonizing 12 years to be able to get a green card, to once more push for comprehensive immigration reform that will attract the world’s best talents.
“We’re training our own competition, rather than invite those incredibly talented young people, like Geetha, to stay here and start businesses and create jobs here,” Obama noted in his speech about immigration reform on Monday in San Francisco.
Geetha Vallabhaneni is an entrepreneur who came from India to the United States 15 years ago to pursue the American dream, and was given the privilege of introducing Obama at the event. A White House official says that it took 12 long years for Geetha, who now lives in Silicon Valley, to get a green card. Geetha started Luminix, which is an enterprise software firm, within just ten months of finally getting her green card.
Obama has recently met with some of the top CEOs in the United States, and says that their biggest priority is that America starts inviting the world’s brightest minds to study in the country but then forces them to leave: “We end up sending them home to create new jobs and start new businesses someplace else,” Obama pointed out, saying that comprehensive immigration reform would make it easier to appeal to highly skilled foreign entrepreneurs, as well as eliminate the current backlog of family US visas.