The hiring of immigrant high-tech workers was a heated issue well before the economy went into a tailspin. So it’s no real surprise that the bank bailout legislation includes language to discourage banks from recruiting skilled foreigners on work visas.
It seems to be a political gesture, understandable and probably empty. “Citibank and the others aren’t hiring, they’re firing,” Vivek Wadhwa, a former technology entrepreneur who is an adjunct professor at Duke University, said in an interview Sunday. “It has no practical effect, other than to make a couple of senators feel good. But it’s a stupid message to send.”The real worry should not be smart foreigners coming to take jobs in America, said Mr. Wadhwa, but all the bright, ambitious immigrants who are leaving the United States and returning home, especially to India and China. That is the topic of a report, “America’s Loss is the World’s Gain,”, to be released Monday, with Mr. Wadhwa as its principal author and the Kauffman Foundation as the funder.
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