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Babson College to sponsor alternative solution for H1B expirations for entrepreneurs

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Babson College officials will announce Wednesday the school will become the nation’s first private college to sponsor an alternative solution for H1B visa expirations for graduates who are entrepreneurs, according to people familiar with the planning.

Officials said Babson will offer a limited number of entrepreneurs, many of them business school graduates, an exemption from immigration rules that would otherwise force them to leave the country.

“It’s not like they’re taking jobs from Americans, they’re giving jobs to Americans,” said one person familiar with the announcement.

The University of Massachusetts has a similar program, but Babson, based in Wellesley, will be unique among private institutions of higher education.

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The announcement, scheduled for downtown Boston, comes amid a national debate over immigration policy, with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, having placed the issue atop the campaign agenda.

Walsh and Babson president Kerry Healey have collaborated before, working on substance abuse issues when Walsh was a Democratic state lawmaker and Healey was the Republican lieutenant governor under former governor Mitt Romney.