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U.S. Educated Immigrants Return to their Homelands

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba

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Demographers were stunned last month when new data revealed a trend reversal: immigrants are no longer flocking to the U.S., and some have made a U-turn and returned home. Data from the Internal Revenue Service show that 1,800 people, mostly living abroad, either renounced their U.S. citizenship or handed in their green cards more than the total number of people who did so in 2007, 2008, and 2009 combined. A few made the choice to avoid paying U.S. taxes on income earned abroad, but others are seeking greener pastures in the global economy. With the U.S. facing a shortage of skilled workers, the wave of immigrants who are turning their backs on America is foreboding. A growing population of highly-educated Americans and foreign nationals educated in the states are less committed to living and working in the U.S., preferring to return to their homelands, many of which are emerging economies.“It’s only really come to light in the last year or two, but we’re noticing a pattern of highly-skilled children of foreign-born U.S. immigrants leaving the U.S. for the countries where their parents were born,” said Madeleine Sumption, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute. Sumption says the trend is strong in China, India and Brazil where dramatic economicgrowth over the last decade has opened up opportunities for entrepreneurship and led U.S. multinationals to hire overseas employeeswith western educations.  “We’re putting together a picture of what’s happening partly from data and partly from anecdotal evidence since it’s a relatively new phenomenon.”

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