October 28, 2010

WHY WOULD THE LAZY NATIVES WANT COMPETITION?:

The Nobel Case for Immigration (Ryan Young & Alex Nowrasteh, 10.26.10, American Spectator)

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. [...]

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.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 28, 2010 6:10 AM
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