Monday, March 23, 2009

Science Research and Immigration

67% of everyone in the United States who entered Science and Engineering between 1995 and 2006 were immigrants. Almost 25% of all international patent applications from the US name foreign nationals as inventors.

US immigration policies prevent an absurd percentage of skilled foreigner workers from becoming citizens, so thees people return home with their skills. Their talent then benefits India, China and Canada instead of the US.

The US needs to keep growing to survive its debt load. The way for us to grow is innovative science and technology. Is there anything above that makes any sense?

1 comment:

  1. Nope. You still see some skilled people coming here for ideological/personal reasons (e.g. more freedoms, better opportunities for their children--they think) but I sense that's changing :(

    I guess the brain-drain problem that other countries are worrying about is going to get solved, then?

    As a side-note, though, this might make the world a better place. I honestly only just thought of this, but if skilled, motivated professionals are forced to stay in home countries with social/political problems, they might become motivated to effect change at home. By contrast, if they all came to the US, their home countries could stay rotten--there might not be as much of an impetus for change. Maybe it'll be like a reverse Curley effect (see here: Basically, Curley drove away the rich/upper class to keep his poor, dependent constituency in Boston.

    Wait a sec... would this suggest the US gov't might be doing something Curleyish as well? -_- A depressing thought for us children of immigrants...