Last night we had a visit from a young man from India about to begin his PhD in theoretical computer science at a top U.S. university. He told us that he loves math. He had graduated top of his class at the Indian equivalent to our MIT. He also told us that his first three years of the program are fully paid for by the U.S. university.
So, here we have this math genius, who virtually beams intensity, telling us that his education will be totally funded – from U.S.-based funds, of course. But if and when he applies for his green card to stay here and contribute his many talents, unless he can prove that he is “internationally recognized” as a researcher or an “alien of extraordinary abilities” – an onerous task, given USCIS’s impossibly vague standards – he will have a very long long wait for a green card. Why should he even bother when India can now lure him back with all kinds of enticing perks, not to mention a handsome salary and his choice of employer?
There is something very wrong with the U.S. system that attracts and pays for the education of the “best and brightest” from overseas yet doesn’t have the laws and rules aligned to keep this top notch talent here when the U.S. needs them the most. It is the talents and contributions of the highly skilled immigrants which will jump start our ailing economy.