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High-tech immigrants leaving the U.S.

Janet Babin Mar 2, 2009
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High-tech immigrants leaving the U.S.

Janet Babin Mar 2, 2009
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Bill Radke: America’s technology boom is partly foreign-born — 52 percent of the top execs at Silicon Valley start-ups are immigrants. A new study finds that some of the most brilliant high-tech minds are heading back home. Janet Babin reports from the Marketplace Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.


Janet Babin: To many immigrants, the U.S. is the shiny gold ring — the reward after years of hard work. A high-tech job here is the pinnacle of success. But a new study finds that ring has begun to tarnish.

Duke professor and Harvard researcher Vivek Wadhwa was one of the paper’s authors. He sampled more than 1,000 immigrant PhD’s working in the U.S. Less than 15 percent reported that they wanted to stay here. Wadhwa says the innovation that fuels the American economy will now move offshore:

Vivek Wadhwa: The next Silicon Valley won’t be in RTP or it won’t be in California It’s going be in Shanghi, or it’s going be in Banglaore.

That’s because home cities like Bangalore now provide better opportunities than immigrants can get in the U.S. To contain the exodus, Wadhwa says the U.S. should ease visa restrictions to make it easier for immigrants to stay here.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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