Over the past year, non-white foreign immigrants have been frequently turned into targets by Donald Trump. In his words as an extremely provocative presidential candidate, they were the source of American society’s turmoil. They were the shooters in every shooting incident, they were the terrorists fostered by Islam, they weren’t paying taxes, they were stealing the American people’s jobs — it was as if only there were no immigrants, the United States would be a perfect Utopia. So it was that, after Trump formally became president of the United States, he issued executive orders to build a wall at the Mexican border and forbid the citizens of seven countries, including Iraq, Syria and Iran, from entering the United States. However, this president who praises himself for his reactionary attitude toward the United States perhaps doesn’t realize that his immigration policies will probably also ruin America’s future.
American society has always been open until now, famous for being full of all kinds of opportunity and possibility. Every year, it attracts countless elite from all around the world. Just a few days ago, the American media outlet Quartz reported that according to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s data, if high-tech personnel are defined as all people who have ever applied for a patent, then in the 10-year period between 2000 and 2010, more than 194,600 high-tech personnel or inventors moved to the United States. Even if the 10,000 people on that list who did not ultimately settle down in the U.S. were eliminated, the number of tech-savvy immigrants there is still altogether higher than the total 140,000 such people in all other countries combined, including Germany, Switzerland, England and so on.*
One reason the U.S has been able to maintain superiority in the fields of economics, science and technology is because of tech-savvy talent that continually pours into the country. Yet, look at the president’s vilification of non-Christians during the election, the instigation of opposition along racial lines by political figures, as well as the shadow of terrorist attacks under which the U.S. is shrouded; given its treatment of talented personnel who do not have the same skin color, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation, perhaps the U.S. isn’t the best choice for settling down these days.
The FBI has counted hate crimes against Muslims, women, and homosexuals as having substantially increased by 7 percent in recent years. Now that Trump’s new government has gotten started, even if you hold a green card and have lived in the U.S. for 20 or more years, it’s still not guaranteed that you won’t be humiliated at the airport without rhyme or reason. And let’s not forget to mention that Trump has roasted the H-1B work visa before, saying that people who hold it are essentially “cheap labor.” Although Silicon Valley tech companies often issue this kind of visa to their workers from other countries, Trump insists that people who possess it “are not talented tech personnel, they’re just temporary workers from abroad that allow companies to use lower salaries to replace U.S. workers.”** He will put forth great effort to fight H-1B visa abuse.
If Trump’s “America First” ideology ultimately evolves into shutting the front gate to the world’s talented personnel, I believe that many countries will accept these exceptionally talented, specialized “temporary workers” with pleasure, like the Canadian government, which ran an ad campaign encouraging America’s tech-savvy immigrants to go there. After all, in the era of automation and waves of robots sweeping over us, in this great environment of tremendous change, we still need to rely on the technology and wisdom of specialized personnel if we are to regulate our direction going forward and touch the sky.
*Editor and translator’s note: The article incorporates a chart it says shows the statistics on patents applied for by immigrants of every country. The chart can be found here. The Chinese in the parentheses next to “Source: Quartz” reads “Chart by TechNews.” The original Quartz article referred to, “The U.S. Has More Inventors than Every Other Country Combined,” and that article’s chart has the same information, but organized differently. TechNews is conveying here that while they didn’t find this information themselves, they did make the chart.
**Editor’s note: Although accurately translated, this quote could not be independently verified.