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Venture capitalists are suing the Trump administration for delaying an immigration program

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

In a new lawsuit, a group of venture capitalists says the Trump administration erred by delaying a program meant to help entrepreneurs from other countries start businesses in the United States.

The International Entrepreneur Rule, created under the Obama administration, was designed to give foreign-born startup founders a way to remain in the US while they build businesses, but this year, the Department of Homeland Security blocked the rule, just before it was set to go into effect in July. The rule is now set to go into effect next year, but the Trump administration may also scrap the plan entirely.

The National Venture Capital Association, which represents a coalition of venture capitalists in the US, says the Trump administration failed to follow proper procedure when it delayed the rule. The lawsuit argues that the administration should have requested public comments before making the change, and asks a court to force the implementation of the rule.

The lawsuit includes two United Kingdom citizens as plaintiffs, Atma and Anand Krishna, who launched a digital payments system in the US and received funding for the company, but do not have a legal way to stay and run the operation.

“Immigrant entrepreneurs play a vital role in strengthening the U.S. economy, creating new jobs for Americans and pushing the boundaries of innovation,” NVCA president and CEO Bobby Franklin said in a statement. “Rather than throw up roadblocks that prevent them from bringing their talent and ingenuity to our shores, we should welcome them with open arms.”