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ACM Opinion

Immigration Bans Will Lead to Dumbing Down of the World


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officer stamps a passport

Credit: Getty Images

Chidanand Rajghatta is the author of The Horse That Flew: How India's Silicon Gurus Spread Their Wings.

The U.S. produces more college degrees than any other nation, graduating around a million masters' and conferring more than 200,000 doctorates every year. Foreign students, mostly from Asia and particularly from India, have driven this growth, particularly in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.

The result has been evident for some time. Migrants in the U.S. are only 13.4% of the total population, but they hold 26% of Ph.D.s (and 58% in computer science).

Immigrants who came to America for study or employment — many through the H-1B visa route — are more likely to file a patent, publish a scientific paper, start a company, and earn higher wages than American-born college graduates.

India has been particularly fecund with its contributions. Donald Trump has put a bullet through the head of this growing American and Indian success story with his ban on immigration.

Immigration and exchange of people and ideas is what has led to growth and enterprise in the world across millennia. The human race did not arrive at its current state of modernity by being insular. An American shutdown could set an awful precedent.

From The Times of India
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