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President Trump speaks at GOP retreat in Philadelphia. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

President Trump is planning to kill a program that would have encouraged startup company founders to immigrate to the United States, according to a draft executive order viewed by Axios.

What is the program: The International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) generally would make special immigration exceptions for foreign entrepreneurs who meet all of these requirements:

  • Formed new U.S. business within the past five years;
  • Has significant ownership and/or operational involvement in the business;
  • Has raised at least $250,000 in venture capital from U.S. investors (or grant equivalents) for the business.

Such so-called immigration "paroles" would last for 2.5 years, and can be extended if the entrepreneur can demonstrate business growth in terms of factors like job creation, revenue growth and additional investment. The Department of Homeland Security can revoke these paroles at any time. The rule was only passed two weeks ago (after years of work), and was slated to go into effect this July.

Isn't that called Startup Visa? No. Startup Visa is very similar in terms of intent, but that would be legislation that remains stuck in Congressional limbo (despite GOP sponsorship). IER was a workaround formulated by the Obama Administration, which also supported Startup Visa.

Trump plan: The proposed executive order (dated 1/23/17) would "immediately terminate all existing parole, guidance and programs... that circumvent statutory immigration policy." Axios has spoken with two professionals familiar with IER, and both agree this EO sets the stage for its termination.

Is it surprising? Not really, since the Obama Administration passed IER via executive order just days before Trump took office. On the other hand, the rule is explicitly tied to the creation of American jobs, which Trump has claimed to be his top priority.

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

10 hours ago - Economy & Business

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 11 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.

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