Magazine article USA TODAY

Skilled Entrepreneurs Leaving U.S. Behind

Magazine article USA TODAY

Skilled Entrepreneurs Leaving U.S. Behind

Article excerpt

More than 1,000,000 skilled immigrant workers--including Indian and Chinese scientists and engineers--and their families are competing for 120,000 permanent U.S. resident visas each year. The sizable imbalance is likely to fuel a "reverse brain-drain," with skilled workers returning to their home countries, according to a report from Duke University, Durham, N.C. The situation is made even bleaker as the number of employment visas issued to immigrants from any single country is less than 10,000 per year, with a wait time of several years.

"The United States benefits from having foreign-born innovators create their ideas in this country," notes Vivek Wadhwa, executive in residence at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering and Wertheim Fellow with Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass. "Their departures would be detrimental to U.S. economic well-being. When foreigners come to the United States, collaborate with Americans in developing and patenting new ideas, and employ those ideas in business in ways they could not readily do in their home countries, the world benefits."

"These findings are important, highlighting the invaluable contribution of foreign nationals to our country's technological and economic vitality," says Duke Provost Peter Lange, the university's top academic officer. …

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