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Elon Musk. Photo: Mark Brake/Getty Images

Immigrants helped found more than half of the U.S.'s 87 startup companies valued at more than a billion dollars in 2016, according to a study by the National Foundation for American Policy, with the 11 biggest of those companies employing more than 17,000 people.

Why it matters: The Trump administration recently proposed to cancel an Obama-era visa aimed at helping foreign entrepreneurs start new businesses in the U.S. The president and other advocates for cutting immigration levels argue that immigrants are taking jobs from U.S. workers, but in many instances, immigrants not only contribute to the U.S. economy, but create more jobs for Americans.

The big picture: Of the 44 immigrants who helped found billion dollar startup in the U.S, 20 first came to the U.S. as international students.

Why that matters: There was a 17% drop in international students in the U.S. last year, in large part due to the 28% decline in Indian students receiving visas.

By the numbers:

  • 14 of the entrepreneurs came from India
  • 8 from Canada
  • 8 from the UK
  • 7 from Israel
  • 4 from Germany
  • 3 from China
  • 3 from France
  • 2 from Ireland

What about H1-B?: The Trump administration has also called for increased scrutiny toward certain H-1B work-based visas, which were often acquired by India-based companies who then send high-skilled tech workers to U.S. companies.

  • The State Department will begin to shorten the time Chinese citizens are legally allowed to stay in the U.S. on their visas.

One more stat: Another study from late last year found that 43% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children.

The 11 biggest companies founded by immigrants:

  1. SpaceX
  2. Mu Sigma
  3. Palantir Technologies
  4. Zenefits
  5. Bloom Energy
  6. WeWork
  7. Apttus
  8. Cloudera
  9. AppNexus
  10. AppDynamics
  11. Uber

Go deeper: The disappearing Chinese student visa

Get more stories like this by signing up for our daily morning newsletter, Axios AM. 

Go deeper

32 mins ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

S&P 500 on track for worst-ever start to year

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their steepest drop of the year early Monday, putting the S&P 500 on course for its worst-ever start to a year.

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading, momentarily putting it on track to fall into a "correction." Some of the steepest losses were recovered in early afternoon trading.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Health care workers hit new breaking point

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The ranks of health care workers are dwindling and stretching what it means to be reaching their "breaking points," particularly at small nonprofit hospitals.

The big picture: Even as Omicron cases have begun to wane in some places, many hospitals are still fielding a crush of patients amid record employee callouts.