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Stopping the ‘Reverse Brain Drain’

| February 22, 2012
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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas (right) speaks to entrepreneurs. (Peter Jon Shuler/KQED)

The U.S. Immigration Service held a summit today in Silicon Valley to tackle a “reverse brain drain” of American-trained entrepreneurs returning to their native countries to start companies.

More than 100 leaders from high tech, academia and government met at Moffett Field to discuss the “Entrepreneurs in Residence” initiative.

“The best and brightest from all over the world come to be educated here,” said Alejandro Mayorkas, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. “And yet we see them leave because of a lack of visa availability only to compete against us.”

Mayorkas says the country needs laws to help immigrants who may create jobs, to stay here. But he’s also enlisting entrepreneurs to vet small start-ups for temporary work visas within the framework of current immigration law.

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