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The Nobel Case for Immigration

“The Nobel Case for Immigration – Keeping our eyes on the prize when it comes to immigration policy”, an article by Ryan Young and Alex Nowrasteh.

Only 1 in 20 people on earth live in America. But Americans won 4 of 11 Nobel prizes this year. Last year, it was 8 of 9. Many of those American laureates are immigrants. Today, about 1 in 8 Americans are foreign-born, but 1 in 4 American Nobel laureates since 1901 are foreign-born. Immigrants, it seems, are chronic overachievers. America would benefit by letting more in.

A third of Silicon Valley’s scientists and engineers are immigrants. Forty percent of Ph.D. scientists working in the U.S. are foreign-born. They are sources of innovation, progress, and — not to be ignored — jobs. If our immigration laws allowed more high-skilled workers into the country, the result would be faster growth and higher employment.

America has a long waiting list of eager high-skilled immigrants. Some of them may be future Nobel laureates.

But current immigration laws are keeping them out the country. The H-1B visa for skilled immigrants is capped at 85,000. Demand is far higher than that in most years. In non-recession years, those 85,000 spots are typically filled in a single day.

The quota on highly skilled immigrants is economically costly. Genius-level intellects are missing out on the chance to flower at the world’s best universities. They’re also missing out on one of the world’s best entrepreneurial environments. The world is missing out on their lost achievements. And Americans are missing out on cutting-edge jobs in high-tech fields. Consumers lose out on products that are never invented.

A 2005 World Bank study found that foreign graduate students working in the United States file an enormous number of patents. A quarter of international patents filed from the U.S. in 2006 named a non-U.S. citizen working in the U.S. as the inventor or co-inventor. Immigrants — some of whom our immigration bureaucracy refuses to recognize — are responsible for an outsized portion of today’s rapid technological advancement.

Fortunately for America, some of these high achievers are willing to break the law to be here. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics, there are almost 300,000 illegal Indian immigrants in the U.S. Many of them arrived here on H-1B or student visas and have overstayed their legal residency in hopes of getting a green card.

The non-partisan National Foundation for American Policy reports that for every H-1B visa issued, U.S. technology firms increase their employment by five workers. It is a remarkable policy failure that almost 300,000 Indian immigrants live in legal limbo. They should be allowed to flex their entrepreneurial muscle without fear of being deported.

And that’s just India. There are millions of talented individuals from Asia, Europe, and elsewhere who could do wonders for America’s ailing economy, if the law would let them. A co-winner of this year’s chemistry Nobel, Ei-ichi Negishi, is an immigrant from Japan. How many like him want to come here, but can’t?

This year’s physics Nobel laureates, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novosolev, emigrated from Russia to the UK. What if they had come to the U.S. instead?

Most immigrants to the United States have lower skills than a potential Nobel Prize winner. But policy makers cannot look into the future and figure out who will win a Nobel Prize and who will be average. Immigration restrictions make it less likely for Americans to win that prize. Immigrants are less likely to find a country where they could intellectually flourish. That is the world’s loss.

The number of Nobel-caliber intellects who have lost their opportunity to do research in this country is unknown. What is known is that the U.S. government has kept out millions of the most inventive, brilliant, and entrepreneurial people in the world for no good reason.

Source: The American Spectator


Emigration: the parents’ experience (Irish perspective)

Emigrating is tough for those that leave, but it can be heartbreak for the parents and family who stay in Ireland, writes CIARA KENNY in Irish Times.

To keep their dread of flying at bay as they hurtled down the runway at Dublin airport, Lynda and Paul Masterson focused their thoughts on their three twenty-something children, who were waiting for them with anticipation 24 hours away in Sydney. A mutual phobia had prevented the couple from ever flying together, but after 28 years of marriage and with two sons and a daughter living on the other side of the world, the time had finally come to conquer their fears.

“We had worried so much beforehand, but the flight itself was fine,” says Lynda. “The hostesses came around all the time with drinks and food to eat, and I sat by the window with my notebook jotting down the names of all the countries we were passing over on the way. We were too excited really. It had been years since we were all together as a family, and it was very emotional when we arrived.”

The couple spent three weeks over Easter exploring the east coast around Sydney, taking in the Opera House, Fitzroy Falls, Kangaroo Valley and Jervis Bay, but the highlight was simply spending time with their three kids, Laura (20), Gary (23) and Alan (26), and their sons’ partners, Jenna and Brooke, who all, for the time being, call Australia home.

“None of them made it back to Ireland last Christmas, it was the first time we were without all three of them, which was terribly hard,” Lynda says. “Going to see them was something we just had to do. Skype is great, but it is not the same as being there with them in their day-to-day lives. I would happily stay and just do their housework for them, and make them cups of tea.”

You can read a full version of the article here.

Immigrant Magazine Online – Voice of Immigrants in America

The Immigrant Magazine is a publication focused on celebrating the contributions of immigrants to the American society as well as exploring their lifestyles and experiences. For the American immigrant looking for rich information source filled with useful, provocative, and relevant information, The Immigrant answers that need. The editorial content covers such topics as Immigration, education, health, career, entertainment, travel, family concerns as well as fashion, beauty and culture, profiles of immigrant achievers and celebrities.


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