President Donald Trump is threatening the US economy by causing a “brain drain back to India” according to a new report in Foreign Policy.
“In the president’s short time in office, his promises and policies — from the ‘Muslim ban’ to a directive that may alter who gets a work visa — have convinced many foreign nationals that they are not welcome,” Suzanne Sataline reported. “For many of the 2.4 million Indian nationals living in the United States, including roughly 1 million who are scientists and engineers, the fears are existential; although roughly 45 percent are naturalized citizens, hundreds of thousands still depend on impermanent visas that must be periodically renewed.”
Trump’s effect upon highly-skilled immigrants could be economically devastating.
“Changes in the U.S. skilled visa scheme could trigger large economic and intellectual losses, especially in states with many South Asian residents such as California and New Jersey,” Foreign Policy noted. “Some foreign nationals there wonder if Trump’s policies will trigger an Indian brain drain.”
Trump is seen of the source of the dramatic changes.
“The platform he got elected on, that hatred, denigrating other religions, it wasn’t making America great again and uplift the world. It’s ‘We’re going to make America great’ at the cost to the rest of the world,” said Vivek Wadhwa, a distinguished fellow at Carnegie Mellon University. “We’re doing long-term damage here.”
The size of the change is dramatic.
“Since Trump’s election, the number of Indian-born residents in the United States searching for jobs back in India has climbed more than tenfold, consulting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu found,” Foreign Policy noted. “Six hundred people were searching in December, and the number spiked in March to 7,000.”
The effect could be particularly pronounced for America’s higher education system.
“Four out of 10 U.S. colleges say they’ve seen a sharp drop in international applicants for the fall term, especially among applicants from India and China, the top sources for international students,” Foreign Policy explained.
To put that into perspective, over 160,000 Indians were enrolled at American colleges during the 2015-2016 school year.
“Some people are moving out of the country, taking valuable skills with them,” says attorney Brent Renison, who is seeking a class action lawsuit. “Some people are choosing not to come. If this persists, were going to lose a lot of the foreign students we educate.”
“I’ll go to any other country but the US,” Sameer Sahay says he hears from his niece and nephew, who were once eager to move to the states.