By Vivek Wadhwa, special to Local Tech Wire

Editor’s note: Triangle entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa is a Visiting Scholar at UC-Berkeley, Senior Research Associate at Harvard Law School and Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University. Follow him on Twitter at @vwadhwa. This excerpt of an article in BusinessWeek online is reprinted with permission.

DURHAM, N.C. – Bring up the topic of economic stimulus and job creation, and you won’t hear much about immigration. If the topic does arise, it’s usually because somebody believes foreigners are taking U.S. jobs.

It’s time to bring the immigration question squarely into the debate over jobs. A change to immigration policy could help create jobs and rev up economic growth. It’s a change that wouldn’t be hard to bring about. I’m talking about the establishment of a

The program would make it easier for those with great ideas and the desire to start a company to live and work in the U.S. The idea is simple, yet powerful. By letting in company founders, the U.S. would bring in risk-takers who want to create jobs and potentially build the next Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), or Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT).

At the same time, a founder visa program could stem the tide of talented, tech-savvy foreigners who are leaving the U.S. to seek fortunes in their home countries, primarily China and India. Even foes of flexible immigration policies who rail against both skilled and unskilled immigrants may have a hard time finding fault with granting visas to startup founders.

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