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U.S. Brain Drain Due To Restrictive Immigration Policies

"Silicon Valley may be the cradle for tech start-ups, but some foreign-born executives, engineers and scientists are leaving because of better opportunities back home, strict immigration laws here and the dreary California economy with its high cost of living, USA TODAY reported today.

" Fewer foreign students are coming to the Valley to earn engineering and science degrees, according to the Silicon Valley Index, which takes the economic pulse of the Valley each year.

"Foreign-born students earned 16.6% of the total degrees awarded in science and engineering programs from local colleges and universities in 2007, compared with 18.4% in 2003, the study says.

"’We’re in the midst of a massive brain drain’, says Vivek Wadhwa, a senior research associate at Harvard Law School who has done extensive research on the topic.’For the first time, immigrants have better opportunities outside the U.S.’ Often, a lack of work visas blocks foreign talent from staying. Only 120,000 to 140,000 temporary work visas are available each year in the U.S."

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