America's brain drain dilemma: immigrant students who leave
Shailesh Deshpande is a Virginia Tech grad who lost his fight to stay after working for several U.S. consulting firms.
February 4th, 2013
09:24 AM ET

America's brain drain dilemma: immigrant students who leave

By Jose Pagliery, CNNMoney

New York (CNNMoney) - An immigration system overhaul might finally address a growing problem: America's brain drain.

Smart foreigners who study at U.S. universities - often at taxpayer expense through scholarships - face a tough fight after graduation if they want to stay in the country.
Many share the experience of Shailesh Deshpande, who lost his fight to stay after graduating from Virginia Tech. He returned home to India and is now launching a company there.

"Don't hate me when I take jobs away from U.S. shores," he said. "Blame your government for it."

There's fear U.S. immigration laws could cripple the nation's economic growth. That's why a group of senators this week suggested creating a fast track to award green cards to foreign students in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math).

The current system sets quotas that limit individual countries to no more than 7% of all green cards. That makes it harder for applicants from India or China, compared to applicants from Belgium or Iceland.

Immigrants make up a surprisingly large share of STEM students in Master's and Ph.D programs: more than 40%. The sheer number has ballooned to 205,600 students as of 2011, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement records.

Although federal officials say it's difficult to accurately track how many of them leave, companies and colleges that interact with foreign students say they are increasingly being driven out of the country.

Read the full story from CNNMoney

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Filed under: Economy • International students • Issues • STEM
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Leo

    The current system sets quotas that limit individual countries to no more than 7% of all green cards. So, the current system would keep a Pakistani who is doing a masters in Islamic studies but deport a Chinese or Indian who got a Ph.D. in engineering. Why keep so many Muslims who only increase the cost of security? Ludicrous.

    February 5, 2013 at 7:14 am |
    • Peter

      You are such a smart individual! :) I am amazed!! 1. A Pakistani who gets Masters in Islamic Studies will not get job in the US job Market, therefore he can not apply for Green Card through job. 2. International Students, who pays a ton to go to college here almost never studies subject like Islamic/Christian/Jewish/Hindu Studies in college, they get degrees in STEM field and that is true for stduent from any countries including Pakistanins. 3. US is not the best place to study Islamic Studies, it is the best place to study Science/Technology/Business etc. I would suggest you to have some brain transpplant to increase the volume and quality of it in your head, I assure you you will be benefitted. And please stop hating Muslims, there are good people, bad people, average people among people from Muslim countries just like like any other religion. Thanks.

      February 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
  2. Andrew

    I say some people should have guns because people can protect the family and they should have background cheeks to get guns

    February 4, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  3. Andrew

    I saw some people should have guns because people can protect the family and they should have background cheeks to get guns

    February 4, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  4. Shay VanBuren

    My opinion on gun comtroll is that, I think people should be able to have guns, because some people go out hunting,then bring home a bird or something to eat, other people have guns for protection.

    Shay <3

    February 4, 2013 at 11:44 am |
  5. Sydnei

    I think that if we take out the guns all together, murder and massacre will go down but like drugs, if they are made illegal it might get out of control and maybe increase. I think it really depends on who is on which side and how strongly they feel and if it's enough to take out their anger out on the public.

    February 4, 2013 at 11:39 am |