Category Archives: Immigration

Skilled immigrants welcome?

From the middle-east to New Zealand, it seems that the skilled immigrants are much in demand. In an article on Aug 20, New York Times says:

Even countries wary of migrant brawn are bullish on migrant brains, and many offer tax breaks and streamlined visas to compete in the global marketplace.

It is ironical than that the country which was the first to tap the skills of immigrants from all over the world has created such barriers to immigration that for the first time, researchers are talking about the “reverse brain-drain”. More and more students and skilled workers are packing their bags for more welcoming shores like Australia, New Zealand and countries in Europe.

For years, the US has relied on immigrants to propel its economy and to drive innovation. Immigrants have either started or played huge part in the success of companies such as the Bose Corporation, Google, Intel, Microsoft and many more. Immigrant doctors, nurses and now, more and more, MBAs have been at the core of the American economy. A couple of years ago, when Parminder Nagra, of Bend It Like Beckham fame joined the caste of the popular NBC medical series, the ER, some critics exclaimed that finally the racial composition of the emergency room on the series had some resemblance to the real life emergency rooms across the country where immigrant medical professionals are all too common.

If immigrants are so useful for the country, then why does the US, through its current immigration system, makes the skilled immigrants, who desire to stay in this country, jump through so many hoops? The current process that has people waiting for more than half a dozen years has so disheartened some skilled immigrants that they have decided to move back either to their home country or to another, more welcoming country. But the advantages of living in the US are so great, that the majority of us have decided to stick it out for our green cards.

The only difference is that a few of us have left it to fate (or ‘karma’) and have decided that ‘the green card will come when it will come’ and a few of us have realized that it is ‘American’ to stand up for yourself, to be vocal about the advantages that the skilled immigrants bring to this country, to talk about getting a fair treatment from the immigration process. We know that our efforts are making a difference and our voice is being heard. My favorite bit of quote regarding our efforts is the one from an editorial piece published in the Baltimore Sun after the flower protest:

Let’s hope their protest gets results – because Americans are fortunate to have living among them people who are this ingenious, and this thoughtful of others, and this capable of channeling anger into beauty.

I say to the author of that editorial that it is a privilege to live in this great country and even though we are going through a struggle to gain permanent residency here, it is for a great personal cause and this struggle will make us value it all the more. S

So folks, if you want to make a difference, please join me and many other motivated people at Immigration Voice –  because if you are not part of the solution, than you are part of the problem.