- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 6, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

William Ehart’s article, “India trade leader: Visa limits a ‘business killer’ ” (Business, Thursday), highlighted business problems that would arise from limiting access to H-1B visas. However, denying them access would also limit American technological growth.

Twenty-five percent of international patents filed from the United States in 2006 named as inventors or co-inventors individuals with non-U.S. citizenship working in the United States. Additionally, a World Bank working paper found that each additional foreign graduate student in the United States results in 0.63 more patent applications being filed. Many of these highly skilled foreign workers have come here on an H-1B visa.

Silicon Valley has been the center of American technological development for more than a decade. Approximately one-third of all scientists and engineers there are immigrants. Not only will limiting the number of skilled foreign workers immigrating to the United States hurt American business, but it also could mortally wound American technological development.

ALEX NOWRASTEH

Policy analyst

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Washington

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