By Douglas Doan

Don’t look now, but it looks as if we are about to go through another bruising battle on immigration reform. Yikes.  With the country already raw and tempers set on edge I wonder if this is the right time to put the nation through yet another vicious and certainly highly charged political death match  that seems to only ignite the worst passions on the left and the right.   Seems to me there is a better way.   Let’s start with a more practical step on immigration reform that would lead to economic growth and appeal to the better angels of our nature.  Above all else, let’s do something that would strengthen the country, make us more competitive,  and fuel economic growth.  It is actually quite easy.

Why not use our immigration policy to attract the best and brightest minds in the world to come, study, and stay in the US?  It would be quite easy to change immigration law to immediately provide a green card and citizenship to any foreign student that has successfully completed an advanced degree in science or engineering at an accredited US college or university.  The results of that simple process would be immediate and fantastic.  The world’s best and brightest minds would flock to the US with the goal of earning an advanced degree and citizenship upon completion.  Great brains would come from all over the world, providing the exact technical skills and higher science degrees that our economy thrives on.  Innovation would soar and our economy would be jolted forward as American competitiveness surges.

The really sad part of all this is that our country once attracted the best brains in the world, but we took it for granted.  We then made it even worse by erecting so many silly barriers and introduced so many frustrations that foreign students simply started to melt away and found new places to study and prosper.  We need to bring those brains back.

Think of the potential  Foreigners with advanced technical degrees earned in America formed companies like Intel, eBay, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo and Google to name but a few.  But today our perverse immigration system no longer welcomes like-minded entrepreneurs, and as a result, our economy and our nation suffer.  We have become so mesmerized by the false illusion of more and more security and, as a result, have frittered away our competitive edge.  Time to get it back and we can do that by attracting the world’s intellectual power to the USA.

Course, there will be some members of unions that such that will resist this idea as they cling ever harder to failed policies.   I also suspect that we would find that others would seek to broaden the offer of a green card and American citizenship to include lawyers, social scientists, political scientists, community organizers, etc.   I would only hope that when those pleas arise, we have the wisdom and the courage to say, no.  Our offer is for scientists and engineers.  As for lawyers and political science majors…were all full up.