Sun Aug 23 2009

Silicon Valley needs people, but that's the easy part

Sarah Lacy posted on Techcrunch about the declining number of foreign students applying for grad schol in the US. It should come as no surprise. Not only is the economy favoring other parts of the world, moving to the United States to study (or work) is also a not task for the faint of heart. Being a european citizen it shocks me how the american government didn’t a) see this coming earlier, and b) take a few cues from the old continent.

What was once considered the land of opportunity is now land of H1B and immigration quotas. People who have clearly played a role in relevant projects in the past couple of years ( Tara comes to mind, she’s now back in Montreal) are either forced to move out or go through hoops to continue giving american companies (and the american government) the fruits of their labor (in both money and work). That has got to be awkward for a country that actively promotes “the american dream”.

This is not a blog on politics so I will not comment on Obama’s immigration reform plan (I wouldn’t be informed enough), but I will link to Alexander Muse’s proposed rules of immigration back from 2006 (and his post from today on this matter). I would love to see change in the US immigration policy, however. Mostly because Silicon Valley will surely start seeing the effects of the downsized work pool in the next few years - and with it being an innovation engine for the world at large, I find that thought quite worrying.