Does America's immigration system make sense to anyone?
The recent influx of thousands of migrant children from Central America has highlighted the failure of reform efforts and gripped the nation’s attention. This is a humanitarian crisis that must be resolved. But forgotten in the emotional debates over immigration are the more than one million legal, skilled immigrants who have been held hostage to political wrangling. Many of these doctors, scientists and engineers are getting fed up with being in immigration limbo and are leaving the country. They are in high demand wherever they go. The loser is the United States, because it is limiting its economic growth and creating its own competition.
When you visit the technology centers of countries such as Brazil, China and India, you see a beehive of startup activity. The entrepreneurs there are building not only social-media and Internet apps like those that Silicon Valley develops, but also wearable medical devices, robots, drone-based delivery systems, microsatellites and agricultural-automation systems. And they are building self-driving cars, solar technologies and 3D-printing systems. A significant proportion of these entrepreneurs returned home from the United States, where American taxpayers likely subsidized their educations.