Border-ing on Ridiculous
As far as I’m concerned, the immigration debate is heading in the wrong direction. Somewhere along the way, the debate shifted to focus solely on “illegal” immigration. While this is a certainly a component of the immigration debate, it is only a subset—and not even the most important issue.
Facing economic threats from emerging economic powerhouses, the US must continue to lead the technological charge. Technical research and development has been the recipe for economic growth (e.g., the “internet”). Currently, China and India can only replicate our technological masterpieces because they lack the indigenous expertise to create these wonders. However, that will not always be the case.
Other countries have been outpacing the US in production of engineers and technical professionals (see graphic below from Duke University's "Framing the Engineering Outsourcing Debate"). Every year tens of thousands of US-educated foreign nationals, who have earned technical PhDs in the US, are sent back to their countries of origin because they cannot gain American citizenship. If allowed to stay these intellectuals will undoubtedly contribute to US innovation in such emerging fields as nanotechnology and bioengineering, helping to maintain our top-spot among first world nations. So in the midst of an immigration debate, why not discuss offering US citizenship to every PhD-earning foreign national?
Handcrafted by Gindu on May 14, 2006 |
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