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our moronic immigration policy

September 25, 2008

Hi America, it’s science calling.  Stop kicking out all the smart people.
Seriously.
In the spring our postdoc Ilya went back to Russia to get his visa renewed.  There was a problem with his visa, and in order to get back to America a couple of profs here had to write Immigration (and some senators, I believe) to convince them to let him back in.
During the summer we recruited a postdoc from China.  There were such problems getting this person a visa that they decided to work in Germany instead.
At this moment, my friend Yang is stuck in China.  He went home for a month, the first time he’s been home in a year, and will probably be there another month trying to straighten out his visa.  His friend is working his TA job for him until he gets back, and he has to drop all of his classes this quarter.
Then there’s Hasan’s awful problems, getting delayed a whole year starting school because someone with the same name committed a crime here in the US.
Now granted, I don’t know the specific details of any of these cases.  That I will admit.  Doesn’t stop me from being angry, and very confused.  Aren’t these the sort of people we want here?  Intelligent, educated, motivated people in tech fields.  People who will advance science, innovate, and add energy to the economy.  As far as I know, most of these people would like to stay here and become American’s.  They’d like to give taxes to the federal government, in exchange for the life they’d get here.  They’re trying to be here legally, and getting hassles wherever they go.
There was more.  But free food awaits.

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