The USA is losing its immigrant mind!  The landed have traditionally helped build America into what it is today:  A great mosaic of thoughts, colors and dreams.  Today, because of punishing politics and a shrinking world, Harvard University reports immigrants are returning to their homeland instead of building a better life in the USA.  An entire generation of immigrants is giving up on their American Dream and I’m not sure if we can blame them for the departure.

The study, titled “America’s Loss is the World’s Gain,” surveyed 1,203 Indian and Chinese immigrants, all of whom had worked or studied in the United States and subsequently returned home. The outflow of this talent is a threat to American competitiveness. As Wadhwa noted in a recent BusinessWeek article, immigrants started 52 percent of Silicon Valley technology companies and contributed work for more than a quarter of America’s global patents.

In 2006, U.S. companies founded by immigrants employed 450,000 people and reported $52 billion in revenue. No government agency keeps track of immigrants returning to their homelands. But human resource directors in India and China told Wadhwa’s research team that over the last few years, the job applications they received had risen by a factor of 10.

What’s worrisome is that up to a third of the returnees had permanent resident status in the United States or were American citizens.

This is what happens when a government’s official policy sets itself against any notion of newness.

This is what happens when the “foreign” and the “unfamiliar” are placed at the center of blame for a nation’s ills.

This is what happens when smart people know they deserve to be treated better and they are not fearful to look elsewhere for the pursuit of happiness and continuity of thought and the warmth of repatriotism.

7 Comments

  1. It’s a sad thing, Anne. There must be reciprocity in the dyad, though. I know a lot of foreign students who were tangled in red tape after 9/11. It wasn’t their fault. It was just because of the part of the world in which they were born. It’s easier to leave than stay.

  2. I was thinking more along the lines of every generation that scorned what they viewed to be people “new to the country” while their parents had been previously the ones who were “new” and therefore scorned. I hope that the Obama administration can right some of the wrongs wrought by GWB.

  3. Absolutely right, Gordon! That scorn is happening now more than ever. First it was the Irish then the Blacks then the Koreans then the South Vietnamese and today it’s the Mexicans… a big circle of hatred and confusion that, if transformed, can make us all better and richer.

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