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Patents United States Science Technology

Immigrants Crucial To Innovation 463

gollum123 sends this excerpt from the NY Times: "Arguing against immigration policies that force foreign-born innovators to leave the United States, a new study (PDF) to be released on Tuesday shows that immigrants played a role in more than three out of four patents at the nation's top research universities. Conducted by the Partnership for a New American Economy, a nonprofit group co-founded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, the study notes that nearly all the patents were in science, technology, engineering and math, the so-called STEM fields that are a crucial driver of job growth. ... The Partnership for a New American Economy released a paper in May saying that other nations were aggressively courting highly skilled citizens who had settled in the United States, urging them to return to their home countries. The partnership supports legislation that would make it easier for foreign-born STEM graduates and entrepreneurs to stay in the United States. ... The study notes that nine out of 10 patents at the University of Illinois system in 2011 had at least one foreign-born inventor. Of those, 64 percent had a foreign inventor who was not yet a professor but rather a student, researcher or postdoctoral fellow, a group more likely to face immigration problems."
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Immigrants Crucial To Innovation

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  • So bottom line... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by the computer guy nex ( 916959 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:30PM (#40455713)
    Legal immigration is good, illegal immigration is bad.
  • My Take (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mindscrew ( 1861410 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:30PM (#40455717)

    I don't have any problems with people going through to correct immigration process to come to the "land of opportunity".
    If somebody from another country want to immigrate to the US to better their education or persue better opportunities, the i fully support you as long as you go through the correct process of obtaining a visa and or citizenship.

    My beef is with the illegal immigrants that sneak into the country, work under the table and not pay their fair share of taxes, and then get government assistance and benefits at the tax payers expense.

    If you want to come to the US, then GREAT! i think that's wonderful!..... Just do it legally and pay your taxes like everybody else.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:33PM (#40455767)

    And patent count is no measure of innovation.

  • Re:still... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:36PM (#40455813)

    Lost in the demagogic hyper-bloviating is the fact that no one is really against legal immigration.

  • by sandytaru ( 1158959 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:36PM (#40455823) Journal
    As much grumbling as there is in the tech sector over the HB1 folks (legal status), the average Joe out on the streets is far more resentful of the uneducated migrant workers picking strawberries than they are the post docs with PhDs filling up the universities. The former ones are lowering the wages at the bottom end of the scale for everyone by providing cheap, illegal labor. The smart, educated ones are a minority - and probably speak English pretty well, too.
  • Re:My Take (Score:5, Insightful)

    by berashith ( 222128 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:37PM (#40455841)

    this is always confusing to me. People here illegally live somewhere. They have to at least pay rent, and at some point, the landlord or property owner is paying property taxes. This funds local government and schools, and seems to me that is just as much of a contribution to those as any other non-home-owning tenant. Also, working does often require a tax id or ssn. These are often forged or stolen for illegal workers. There is tax paid on the money earned, but it is credited to someone else who actually owns the ID being used. The illegal immigrant will never recoup the social security paid in this way.

  • I hate it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:37PM (#40455857)

    when number of patents is used as a measure of innovation. It's only a measure of who has the most lawyers.

  • by microbee ( 682094 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:45PM (#40455979)

    It takes 5 years or more for people from certain countries (India/China) to get a greencard after they obtain advanced degrees in the US.

    Politicians don't care or talk about this, because these people don't give them enough votes. That's the problem.

  • Seems to me (Score:1, Insightful)

    by GT66 ( 2574287 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:46PM (#40456019)
    that all this study proved was that people given jobs do their jobs. However, the crux of the argument around immigration is *who* is given the job. Let's be honest, there are ONLY a few reasons that a country of 300 million people would ever *need* foreign born researchers: they work cheaper, they were recruited to strategically keep them out of the hands of other countries, our "domestic" educational system is a failure and lastly, self-loathing. All the rest, like this is just justifying after the fact as a way to evade actually stating the reasons I gave above.
  • Re:still... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:49PM (#40456069)

    no one wants to end immigration to america, our country was built on that concept, We simply want it done correctly. like our ancestors did

    Kill everyone who's already living here, throw the survivors in reservations, and strip-mine all the resources? 0_o

  • Re:Not so much... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by orthancstone ( 665890 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:56PM (#40456167)

    I think for the most part, the main thing we care about for our to just sign the fucking guest book on they way know?

    If only "just signing the guestbook" was as simple as it sounds. Go look up the actual process and you'll find out really quick why some people avoid the legal route: It's loaded with bureaucratic red tape & bullshit and, in the cases of some key foreign nations that supply many of our legals and illegals, chocked full of corruption right down to the bottom level of officials.

    I appreciate those who go through all of that to do it the legal way, but the reality of illegals is similar to the whining about free markets: Gov't regulation is making it hard for many to play fairly, so many just break the rules and pay for it when they get caught.

  • Re:still... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:57PM (#40456177)

    In an era of ever-increasing oil prices & food prices, it makes logical sense for the U.S. (or EU or China or any country) to try and stabilize the population at a sustainable level to make the coming crisis less painful.

    You seem to be unaware that the populations of both the EU and the USA are increasing solely because of immigration. Birthrates in the USA and EU are already below replacement rates.

    Theoretically, China is also already into permanent population decline, but it's unclear to what extent the One Child Per Family laws are ignored/bypassed....

  • Re:still... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ziggitz ( 2637281 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @02:57PM (#40456183)
    Thousands of dollars and years of your life spent waiting for your number to be called in an INS office.
  • Re:still... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jhoegl ( 638955 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:00PM (#40456221)
    Your information is correct, up until the end.
    Unless you are joking, we force imported people from Africa, we took Irish off the boat to fight in the Civil War for legal status, we have allowed and exploited illegal immigrants for many years (See 1980s/1990s Asian importing of illegals).
    Do I wish everyone was legal? Yes. I think they can and are exploited, used as slaves, held for ransom, and paid small and illegal wages because of their status.
    To top that all off, if you increase your immigration without control, you will soon find yourself in a situation where food is not highly available, resources are strained, and governments can collapse. There are cases in history where this has happened.
    So... if you want to tie it up into a neat little package of "racism" or "prejudice" you are dead wrong and highly uneducated about the issue.
  • Re:still... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:04PM (#40456295)

    Lost in the demagogic hyper-bloviating is the fact that no one is really against legal immigration.

    Lots of people are. That's why the quotas are so drastically small. My step-father rants all the time about Mexicans diluting our superior culture. Why don't we raise the quota of Mexican 100x? I bet we'd have very few illegals then, but that's not what you want is it?

  • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:05PM (#40456309) Homepage Journal

    This whole thing about immigration (legal or not) is simply ridiculous.

    Like most industrialized nations, the rate of population growth of the US is declining. We would be under replacement rate already were it not for immigration.

    The population growth rate is in decline even with the current rate of immigration [], which is at historically unprecedented levels (about twice as many as the early 1920's).

    Illegals make up a disproportionally large segment of the prison population, but overall, violent crime is way down []. (Blacks also have a disproportionally large prison population.)

    Thinking that the country cannot sustain the influx, or that these people will somehow reduce our standard of living by requiring more services, or increase the crime rate is simply not supported by the evidence.

    Then there's the innovation. Jobs come not from existing businesses, but from starting new businesses, and from new-ish businesses growing large. Immigrants tend to make the most of their opportunities by inventing new things, starting new businesses, and encouraging their children get educated and become successful (source []).

    Then there's the infrastructure. Illegal immigrants don't contribute to the infrastructure by paying taxes (as much), but at the same time they become a burden on the infrastructure by avoidance. They avoid the hospitals until something becomes an emergency, they don't alert the police to minor situations before they get out of hand, and so on.

    Then there's the exploitation. Illegal immigrants have no recourse when their employer abuses them.

    It would almost seem, from a completely neutral viewpoint, that just allowing illegals to become citizens would be a win all around.

    I'm not entirely sure what the problem is.

    Perhaps someone can craft a reasonable sounding "what if" scenario that outlines the sophistry for me? I'm not having any luck identifying any evidence-based reasons.

  • Re:Half-true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:10PM (#40456375) Homepage Journal

    Replace the CEOs with H1bs and you'll get better results.

  • by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:17PM (#40456485) Homepage Journal


    Sorry.. I am fine with legal immigration but I can't stand amnesty. No matter what they have done after getting here their entire stay is predicated on an illegal act. I can't overlook that. The best we should do is *not* throw them in jail. They shouldn't be in the line until they return home because there are thousands or MILLIONS that did the right thing and did not break the law. Yeah they had kids... well tough darts.

  • Re:still... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo ( 1000167 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:24PM (#40456555)
    Ahh yes, the partisan attacks. Andrew Jackson may have been a democrat, but the party has radically shifted over the ensuing centuries. Bear in mind that Lincoln was a republican.

    With that aside...I am a 2nd generation American, my grandparents were from Mexico (legally) and nobody hates illegals more than they do. I'm a pretty hard-core liberal, but when it comes to immigration policy I lean towards pragmatism. I'm a bit tired of the hypocrisy that the rest of the world shows the U.S. The Mexican-Guatemalan border is heavily guarded, and yet Mexico complains about us putting up a (ineffective) wall.

    I suppose the crux of my post is, immigration is a helluva lot more complicated than the Fox News / MSNBC talking points would have us believe.
  • Re:still... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jhon ( 241832 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:31PM (#40456639) Homepage Journal

    "The Supreme Court TRIED to stop that practice by issuing decisions that the Indians did not need to move, but the slave-owning Democrats who were in charge (like Andrew Jackson) decided the Supreme Court can shutup, and moves the Indians anyway."

    And this is an example of why the executive branch cannot and should not decide WHAT laws to to enforce a la cart. Imagine if Eisenhower decided he didn't like Brown v Board of Education (and he didn't) and wouldn't enforce it. These are dangers waters to wade...

  • Re:still... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:31PM (#40456645) Journal

    Are you really that naive? If people only cared about the legal status of immigrants, then we could pass a bill to legalize every immigrant and please everyone. The fact that conservatives refuse every opportunity to make legal immigration easier proves that it's not the legality at all that's the issue.

  • Re:Half-true (Score:2, Insightful)

    by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:08PM (#40457203) Journal

    In other words, you only want White, Immigrants, no ones with a little brown in their skin.

    Think you need to see the countries of origin on page 9 []

    But the study is still logically wrong. It concludes "immigrants name on patents = immigrants needed for patents". Faulty logic. Just because there is an immigrants name on a patent, along with a dozen other names, does not mean that patent would not exist without immigrants. I could do the same study, but conclude that non-immigrants are crucial for patents, because 95% of the 2011 US patents had at least one non-immigrant inventor listed.

    Besides study is biased, put out by pro-immigration group: [] " The Partnership for a New American Economy.... will pursue Congress and the White House to enact legislation which will create "a path to legal status for all undocumented immigrants now in the United States".[2] The partnership will seek to influence "by publishing studies, conducting polls, convening forums, and sponsoring public education campaigns".[1]"

    So this is, basically, SPAM, on the front page of /.

  • Re:Half-true (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Radres ( 776901 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:13PM (#40457263)

    "The Mexicans are doing the jobs we don't want to do. The Asians are doing the jobs we don't know how to do. Where does that leave us?" - Colbert

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.