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15 May, 2010 06:55

US brain drain: skilled immigrants leave America for better opportunities

The current economic turmoil could trigger a brain drain in the US. For many skilled immigrants, the American Dream is becoming a nightmare, while prospects in other developing countries are improving.

Shobhit Bhargava is a father of two and is enjoying a successful career in the IT world while balancing the joys of family life in the US. However, Bhargava is slowly starting to realize that maybe that the so-called American Dream is not really a dream of his after all.

“I am kind of stuck in a situation where I cannot move around in jobs. I cannot take on better opportunities. Even within the organization I cannot take on more responsibilities,” he told RT.

Bhargava is one of thousands of Indian immigrants who have decided it is time to pack up their bags and return home. He has been offered several jobs in India that he says beat out his options in the United States.

“The opportunities in India are definitely much better than what they are here,” Bhargava noted.

It is a phenomenon that is being called the American brain drain. To many it may be no surprise that in the midst of one of the worst economic recessions in recent history many highly skilled immigrants are choosing to leave the United States. While the US economy is expected to shrink almost three percent next year, India’s economy is predicted to grow by over five percent.

It is a reality that many business-minded folks like Jai Saboo are aware of. The entrepreneur already spends almost half of his time in India. He has decided that it might just make sense to plan his return.

“I am going to go there because that is where the next cycle of growth and prospering is going to come,” Saboo said. “ There are lots of people, lots of very big entrepreneurs who were from India or China who are going back and settling there and saying ‘That is where I am going to set up shop’.”

What will happen to the United States when there is a mass exodus of Indian immigrants? Studies show that 10% of all millionaires in America are Indian. Indian immigrants were even a factor in the foundation of Google and Silicon Valley.

“This country was built by immigrants – people who wanted a better life. But some of the things politically we have done are tending to reverse that trend a little bit,” said Saboo. “I think it already has and I think it will continue to adversely impact the economy of this country.”

As immigrants leave the US, they take both their brains and their money back to their original homes.