Yesterday the National Venture Capital Association released a study called, “American Made: The Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Professionals on US Competitiveness.” Despite the long handle, it has some powerful information that should provide a useful backdrop as Congress reconvenes and as folks hint that they might be ready to tackle the immigration issue.
“Yahoo would not be an American company today,” said its founder, Jerry Yang, “If the United States had not welcomed my family and me almost thirty years ago.”
We have posted this slide before, showing the ever-increasing percentage of advanced US degrees awarded to non-US citizens. Our challenge is to figure out how to keep the best talent here, because the work will surely follow them. We ought not be putting the next Andy Grove or the next Jerry Yang on an airplane back home. If we do, we will lose our competitive edge in time.
Again, as Congress nears yet another debate on immigration, we hope it’s one steeped in reason, not rhetoric. We need to continue to be a beacon to the world. Immigrants built this country many years ago, but as this study shows, immigrant continue to build this country. Innovation is the lifeblood of manufacturing and of the US economy. Let’s make sure we keep it here.
Are you listening, Lou….?
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