Musings on Immigration

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Another Month, And No Movement Toward Reform.


As many regular readers of this blog know, I am impressed by the amazing work of Vivek Wadhwa, research associate at Harvard, and an entrepreneur in residence at Duke. This week his most recently published article, The University Of Competition, in Outlook India, points out the obvious–”with its flawed immigration policies, the U.S. has exported part of its economic stimulus and is providing a windfall of premium talent to these countries (India and China).”

Vivek also appeared in a NPR’s Marketplace segment on how sophisticated engineering jobs are disappearing from the U.S. and moving to India. The report by Janet Babin starts with an unemployed Silicon Valley engineer and ends with Wim Elfrink – Cisco’s Chief Globalization Officer who is based in Bangalore. In that piece, Vivek discusses how the world has changed and how companies now need to be near growth markets.

This pieces and other recent pieces show that plodding ideas about commissions and study groups to recommend visa numbers are relics of a past age. The question is, will Congress act quickly enough on immigration reform to actually make a difference in helping our economy recover. Every immigration lawyer knows these simple truths–lazy people do not walk across the desert. And, its corollary–the Hope that is American attracts those willing to work hard to succeed. Well, the former principle is still true, at least for now. The latter is giving way to hopelessness–backlogged visa numbers (”encased in amber”), and a growing and vibrant economy in China and India. The failure to act quickly is going to cost America in the long run. Let’s pray someone in the White House and on Capitol starts this immigration reform discussion moving before it is too late.

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