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Economic literature: papers , articles , software , chapters , books. Wadhwa, V. Handle: RePEc:spr:manint:vyid More about this item Statistics Access and download statistics. Corrections All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. Louis Fed. Help us Corrections Found an error or omission?
America Drives Out Immigrants, Innovation – World Policy
RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers. Sophie Vandebroek is the chief technology officer and president of the Innovation Group at Xerox. In , as she was completing her PhD in electrical engineering from Cornell, Vandebroek joined a large multinational near New York City.
She commuted miles to work even though she had two children at home. But she became frustrated that the company would not file for her green card.
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As it did for me, Xerox immediately sponsored her for a green card, and she received it within 18 months. For the past 60 years, the United States has dominated global patent filings. Skilled immigrants, often on H-1B visas, have contributed mightily to this supremacy. Patent filing statistics provide the proof. We found that the number of international patent applications filed by noncitizen immigrants increased from 7.
Indian nationals were second, followed by Canadians and the British, respectively. What would the world look like if more and more foreign nationals and foreign residents who in the past might have filed patents in the United States instead were filing patents in India or China on behalf of Indian or Chinese companies?
How long would it take for the global balance of technology power to shift? How long would it take for those contributions to elevate China and India to the same status as the United States?
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So for all intents and purposes, the debate about whether immigrants drive company formation and job growth in America is over. The evidence is overwhelming.
We need immigrants to drive job growth. We need skilled immigrants to drive technology job growth. Two months after the Chhatpars returned to India for the legally mandated period, their petition for EB-1 status was denied, despite the fact that they already had employees in the United States, were paying considerable taxes in the United States, had a clear track record of starting companies, and BusinessWeek. Obviously, this type of purgatory is bad for business. As a result, our companies are suffering. They have hired four computer programmers to develop India-focused websites.
Brain drain begins
They would rather be working on products for the US market, but given their immigration uncertainties, they feel they have no other choice. And, in all likelihood, some of those jobs would have gone to US-based programmers had the United States not ousted the Chhatpars. But she sees other top researchers packing up. One is married to another PhD researcher at the Webster research lab, so that totals three losses for Xerox. These are just the most recent losses. Vandebroek says that over the past five years there have been many others.
Countries all over the globe now have successful and growing research universities and labs. It is critical that the US figure out how to encourage bright and passionate scientists and engineers to immigrate to the US and contribute to a better future for all of us.