"In my daily meetings with founding teams and start-ups, there is not a single company that does not have an emigre as a key member. The contribution of Indian, Chinese, Russian, Bulgarian and other nationals to our economy is beyond question and a vital source of our success. From professors, to engineers, senior managers, company founders, and venture capitalists, our current success and prosperity is very positively influenced by our ability to attract the best and brightest to work and study in our country.Unfortunately, America, while often a champion of free trade, is not a practioner of free labor markets. While technology talent is perhaps the most important input in Silicon Valley's decades of innovation, the US government artificially caps and limits the number of ambitious immigrants to our economy ."
This week's Economist includes an article titled Deportation Order.
Since 2003, the US government has reduced the number of H1-B visas by 66%; from 195,000 in 2003 to a measley 65,000 this year. Within hours of the application deadline, 150,000 applicants submitted visa requests; a frightening 85,000 on-time applicants lost out to a random number generator that selected the lucky winners.
The article quotes the Harvard Crimson commenting that "many of the foreigners in its class of 2007 have received their deportation orders."
The valley's position as the leading cluster for technology innonvation is contingent on the seamless flow of ideas, capital, and talent. Artifical limits on the ability to source talent will have profound downstream consequences, reducing the quality of innovation, wealth creation, and utility.