Thursday, April 22, 2004

Is the U.S losing its technological edge because of its immigration policies?

The Department of Homeland Security has made it tougher for foreigners to obtain work visas. Talented foreigners, rather than coming to America are now studying in Western Europe and even China. Thomas Friedman, in the New York Times argues that immigration policy is leading to a two-fold disaster. The US talent pool is being diminished because the cream of the crop of foreign students are no longer studying here. The next techological Yao Ming may stay in China instead of bringing his skills to the US. Additionally, foreigners who work and/or study in the US, when they return home, usually take American ideas back home.

Therefore, it appears that the Department of Home Security needs to do a better job in screening applicants for visas. For example, there is little national security risk in permitting Indians from working in the U.S. in the technology sector.