Brain Drain: From Here to Iraq

Post Reply
Chantalle
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:22 pm

Brain Drain: From Here to Iraq

Post by Chantalle » Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:05 pm

Iraq is seeing a major attack of "brain drain". Many of its skilled professionals have left, leaving hospitals critically understaffed in a country where unbelievable carnage happens everyday. This same scenario is true for Haiti where there is a critical need for doctors, lawyers and other skilled professionals. Unfortunately, most <a href="http://www.amhe.org/" target="parent">Haitian doctors</a> are not staffing hospitals in Haiti but are practicing in the five boroughs of New York. The Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad has chapters in Chicago, Montreal, New York, Florida, New Jersey, St. Louis and in Washington/Baltimore. Ironically at their <a href="http://amhe.org/amhe/home/conventions.asp" target="parent">34th annual convention</a> in Naples, Florida, later this month, they will be grappling with the issue of "Addressing Healthcare Disparities in Underserved Communities".

The coup de grace blow to a country in conflict is when its intelligentsia and talent are forced to flee. Riddle me this -- what country has benefited the most from the conflicts that have raged in parts of the world where the U.S. government directly or indirectly invaded, subverted and intervened? The U.S. is the destination of choice for most of the world's immigrants and has benefited more than any other country from "brain drain" in skilled labor gains. Of course the continent most depleted is Africa where conflicts occur most frequently.

What are the reasons for migration to the United States?
"In the late 1800s, people in many parts of the world decided to leave their homes and immigrate to the United States. Fleeing crop failure, land and job shortages, rising taxes, and famine, many came to the U. S. because it was perceived as the land of economic opportunity. Others came seeking personal freedom or relief from political and religious persecution. With hope for a brighter future, nearly 12 million immigrants arrived in the United States between 1870 and 1900. During the 1870s and 1880s, the vast majority of these people were from Germany, Ireland, and England--the principal sources of immigration before the Civil War. That would change drastically in the next three decades." -- <a href="http://memory.loc.gov/learn/features/ti ... grnts.html" target="parent">The Library of Congress</a>The so-called "open immigration policy" of the United States was revised after World War II because one of the fortuitous fall-outs of war and conflict (for the U.S. anyway) are refugees. Unfortunately, very often the U.S. government has refused to <a href="http://media.www.themichiganjournal.com ... 6357.shtml" target="parent">take responsibility</a> for the aftermath of the chaos that is unleashed with intervention, subversion and invasion of a country.
The outbreak of World War I reduced immigration from Europe, but mass immigration resumed upon the war's conclusion, and Congress responded with a new immigration policy: the national-origins quota system, passed in 1921 and revised in 1924. Immigration was limited by assigning each nationality a quota based on its representation in past U.S. census figures. Also in 1924, Congress created the U.S. Border Patrol within the Immigration Service. -- <a href="http://www.cis.org/topics/history.html" target="parent">The Center for Immigration Studies</a>Immigration was down to zero after the depression but perked up after World War II. The increase after the war was not enough for the U.S. government which saw a need for "skilled labor" and so in 1965 a "preference" law was instituted that replaced "national origin" to attract these desirable immigrants.

The period of the 1990s was the height of immigration to the U.S. but when you look at a list of <a href="http://www.doublestandards.org/timeline1.html" target="parent">U.S. interventions</a> you see the potential for the U.S. borders to be overwhelmed by fleeing immigrants from all parts of the world. The xenophobia that occurs when one group fears and loathes another one is universal. The immigration issue has become a hot button issue in the U.S. just as it was during the period of 1820-1996 when the majority of immigrants were from Europe.

Makes you wonder, what will the U.S. government have to do to attract more "skilled labor"? Invade Iran?

If Americans want to stop immigration of <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/06/ ... index.html" target="parent">"undesirables"</a>, perhaps they should stop intervening in other countries.

<a href="http://thehaitianblogger.blogspot.com" target="parent">Visit my blog</a>.

User avatar
Guysanto
Site Admin
Posts: 1289
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 6:32 pm

Post by Guysanto » Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:59 am

This is an editorial comment, not so much related to the contents of the post above. I like your blog. It leads to all sorts of interesting stories. I also feel good that you placed Windows on Haiti as one of your major links.

What is exciting about it is that you can take your blog as the starting point and go pretty much in whatever direction you want, based on personal interests. Yours, obviously, are quite diverse (and so are mine).

Furthermore, I like the way you pepper your texts in Ann Pale with relevant links. That allows for an in-depth exploration for the issues.

Sooner or later, other Ann Pale members will discover your style and implementation of social networking. This is the new wave and it can be both serious and amusing.

Welcome to the family, Chantalle!

Serge
Posts: 323
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:39 am

Post by Serge » Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:50 pm

Boy! Chantalle,

Thanks for this article. It is quite well written and right on the money. What a "coincidence" indeed that the US has greatly benefitted from the brain drain from smaller, poorer countries their policies have contributed to completely discombobulate. After your article, there is no need to give examples.

As far as Haiti is concerned, I have always said that the huge brain drain provoked by the Duvaliers regime aided and supported by successive US Gvts. dealt us a blow that we are dearly paying for now and for a long time to come. We lost at least two generations of Haitians specialized in all kinds of fields, and precisely those fields where we need more competent people.

As you know, recently, all you heard about was the issue of immigration. But all along those discussions, I never saw an analysis explaining how the situation in those countries got so bad that the people had to run for their lives. Such analysis would have explained quite a few things, whether in Haiti, El Salvador, Colombia or any place else.

Your article points out to the commun denominator in the brain drain which affects so many small countries. Very interesting reading indeed!

Like Guy, I wish you a big welcome on Windows on Haiti!.


Serge

Chantalle
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:22 pm

Post by Chantalle » Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:00 pm

Thank you Guy (is that your official disclaimer? :)). Thank you Serge.

Regarding the matter of the "brain drain", the issue is complex and when I think about it so many questions run through my mind.

The most persistent is;
Why doesn't the U.S. spend more on public education so that it doesn't have a permanent underclass? Why would the richest country in the world need to import "skilled labor"?

Do the corporations who (from what can be observed and documented) run the agenda of the U.S. government not see the catastrophic affect of their greed on the rest of the world and the negative repercussions to the U.S.?

The CIA uses the term <a href="http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Sept_ ... ticle.html" target="parent">"blowback"</a> to describe the backlash of their nefarious actions in the world. Before September 11 these were relatively low scale and mostly outside the states.

Unfortunately, when <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/htmlContent. ... bom08.html" target="parent">attacks</a> like these occur, it is often innocent people that pay the ultimate price. This is true of the "blowback" effect of brain drain for developing countries who can ill afford to loose their professional class.

Post Reply