February 6, 2017

From Wired: how immigration bans hurt silicon valley USA

I follow Wired mag in twitter. Great way to know what is up in the tech universe.
As a Canadian PhD, and biomedical scientist, i worked in the US before 9/11 but only got my green card after that day.
So i have personal experience with the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) and DHS (Department of Homeland Security) as a vettee. I must say that these departments were retooled by President George W. Bush to do very thorough and professional screenings of us visa applicants. As a Canadian who already had three US citizen children and who made biomedical science discoveries in the US, I was probably about the least scary immigrant you could find.

Politically, my country has always fought side by side with US soldiers. Immediately after Pearl Harbor, the Canadian parliament was the first government to declare war on Japan after Congress and the US President. I grew up on a giant Canadian air base in northern Alberta where my Dad's squadron trained with visiting US Air Force, National Guard, and US Army squadrons, simulating the landscape of Eastern Europe in the 70s and 80s. My Father, and then myself from age 17 to 18, wore NATO patches on our flightline work-dress.  Dad was regular Air Force and I was Air Reserve. His squadron was a combat operational training squadron, the 417, who practiced locating to Norway every year because that was their job should tanks of the USSR decide to roll into West Germany. I served in Base Flight Transient Servicing, which meant I got to meet crews and help refuel the aircraft of many nation's Air Forces. USA, UK, Germany, Netherlands.

It seems I also became a scientist, like many of us born in the early 60s, inspired as a boy by Apollo missions and Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. If anyone in the Canadian press or education system was complaining about the "Americanization" of Canadian culture, my Dad would point out to me that "like it or not, when there is trouble in the world, disasters, its the Americans who travel thousands of miles to help with those big C5-Galaxys that visit us for fuel. They even go to help countries who put them down."  I could not help to understand that, he was correct. (Sesame Street was then making dual segments where Kermit says X, Y, "Zed" for Canadian kids, not X, Y, "Zee".)

So, I am pretty much a foreigner and an admirer of freedom of the press and academic freedom, two diamond concepts brought to the fore by Americans. Yet, as safe as I am for all the Americans living here in Michigan, I have still been subjected to multiple sessions of fingerprinting, interviewed more than once, and background checked as I obtained my green card as the spouse of a US Citizen with three US Citizen children. That is fine. That is good. Its OK with me. Keeps my family safe too.

The DHS staff seemed organized, professional, respectful and impressive. I have seen how they work hard and do their jobs. They required lots of information from us, and we all know that they are doing this to keep all of us safe. They have spouses, children, parents. Does the White House staff really think they do anything less than their duty to make sure that only good people immigrate to this country? If they are this careful with Canadians, who lost as many soldiers per capita in Afghanistan with the USA, then I think these immigration officials are vetting immigrants from all countries extremely well already. They should be thanked and not treated by the White House as if they are not already doing a thorough job of it, just for the sake of trying to make the previous President look bad. 

So. With that said, below from wired is a good example of how even Iranian born persons contribute to the UK and US economies in tech.

 Trump’s immigration crackdown will hurt Silicon Valley- here’s how from Wired
https://t.co/yFu5mkagxN https://twitter.com/WIRED/status/828612311870959616
Share this post with more networks: http://ow.ly/VplI100A6Ok

No comments: