Economics and Finance Feed

Russia’s Brain Drain, Putin’s Brainwashing & the Lame-Brained U.S. Immigration Apparatus

By Patricia Lee Sharpe

Putin’s approval rating has jumped from a not-so-bad 77% to a much better 83% according to a recent “state-backed” opinion poll. So says the Wall Street Journal, while noting that “experts have cautioned against taking current Russian polls on face value, given that Russian authorities have pursued a crackdown against dissent, including a media blackout of any reports contrary to the Kremlin’s narrative about Russia’s actions in Ukraine.” Anyone calling the war a war or impugning the military is liable to receive harsh punishment. The muzzling has been so effective that Russians are refusing to believe first hand accounts of death and devastation from their own relatives and friends in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post has reported the results of a recent Gallup poll: 20% of the Russian population are eager to leave the country. This tranche of unhappy Russians skews young, male, educated and urban, which suggests an ingenious way for the West to undermine the Putin regime. Lure the dissatisfied element to the U.S. and the E.U. by making immigrant visas easy to obtain. Think of it! Russia could lose a generation of its best and brightest!

Unfortunately for that bright idea, multitudes of desperate people are waiting for the U.S. to get its immigration act together, some with deservedly high priority, particularly the thousands of Afghans who helped the U.S. throughout America’s military adventure in Afghanistan.   Also already in line for adjudication are the long-suffering refugees from violence, corruption and climate change  in Central America.  Although Ukrainian refugees belong on the list of worthy immigrants, most of them seem to prefer accommodation in Europe, to make it easier to return home as soon as they can.  [Update:  Still thousands are at the border.  Even as we do our best to help them regain all of their country, we need to give them temporary shelter.]

Deceptively promising for would-be immigrants to the U.S. is the nationwide labor shortage that has been pushing wages and salaries to higher levels.  Employers are desperate for employees in nearly all categories.  Without workers, the economy is in danger of tanking.  Yet the immigration pipeline is clogged with able and willing foreign workers who can’t get a hearing.   Such being the sad case, what's the possibility in the near future of anything like a comprehensive immigration reform bill being drafted, let alone passed, by stalemated U.S. legislators?  Zilch.

All of which raises another question: given the sorry state of U.S governance and the frightening odds of a much worse future, why should anyone want to emigrate to the U.S. anymore?

 

 


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About Us

  • Patricia Lee Sharpe
    Poet, journalist, teacher, foreign service officer with 23 years public diplomacy experience in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
  • Patricia H. Kushlis
    27 years public diplomacy experience in Europe, Asia and Washington, DC as a US foreign service officer. International affairs writer, analyst and commentator.

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