Last week a WRM essay on America’s immigrants appeared in the WSJ. “The world’s best, the world’s hardest-working and the world’s most ambitious are still coming our way,” he wrote.A story at Bloomberg Businessweek backs up this point. America’s immigrants, writes Elizabeth Dwoskin, are responsible for some of the most innovative, cool, useful, and lucrative stuff that gets invented in the U.S.:
…more than three-quarters of patents from America’s top ten patent-producing universities, including MIT, Stanford, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, were the result of breakthroughs by immigrants. Those universities produced 1,466 patents—a fraction of the total awarded—but many were in such cutting-edge fields as information technology and molecular biology.
Some of the patents for work done by immigrants are on the cutting edge of twenty-first century tech and industry:
…a Stanford student built a camera that lets users change what’s in focus after snapping a shot; Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers invented a tiny, foldable car; and a patent was awarded for devising a metal that is as strong as steel but can be molded like plastic.
America’s inventive and talented immigrants are some of our greatest treasures. The sooner we change the policies that impose tight limits on the number of highly-skilled immigrants who can come to our stay in the U.S., the better.Short sighted know-nothings see skilled entrants as competing with white collar native born Americans for a limited number of jobs: the idea seems to be that there is only so much dog food in the dog dish, and letting more foreign dogs in just means less food for the rest.Nothing could be farther from the truth. These skilled immigrants create jobs and create opportunities for the rest of us; their ideas, their inventions, their entrepreneurial drive make everyone richer.There is in VM’s view a reasonable case for reviewing the levels of unskilled immigration from time to time, and certainly for blocking illegal migration. But when it comes to highly skilled and unusually talented people, we say let it rip.Open the doors; let freedom ring.