The Loss of One’s Adopted Country – Another Result of the Economic Crisis

At a recent technical meeting I met a colleague with whom I’ve spoken from time to time. He is from India and has been working on an H-1 visa after getting his Masters degree at a state university here in the U.S. He, his wife, and his children have been here together for thirteen years, and consider this country their home.

Now, because of the economic crisis, he is having a hard time finding work to keep his visa active. He told me that if he cannot find work within a couple of weeks, he will have to return to India. This would be a huge, sudden, and unwelcome upheaval for his family.

It struck me that this is an a side of the economic crisis that has not been discussed much. While many of us are suffering in other ways, very few of us risk losing our adopted country. And, while one could argue that, as a guest worker, he should have known that his welcome might end, is he really more guilty of unrealistic optimism (or, as Alan Greenspan put it, irrational exuberance) than the rest of us?

4 Comment

  1. […] March 2009 by keithrbennett I posted this article on my technical blog, but it is applicable here as well. If you’re interested, feel free to give it a read. I […]

  2. Why is he still working under an H1 visa after 13 years? That seems totally wrong to me. I have no doubt that your colleague is a fine person but what the hell? I thought that H-1 visas were for five years.

  3. keithrbennett says: Reply

    David –

    I asked him about it, and his response was “3 years of education, lost 4+ years with a company during green card process, then restarted…green card process as visa extension.”

    – Keith

  4. I had the same reaction as David. I know people who’ve gotten their green cards and become citizens in much less time. But here he is. Suggest he apply to Oracle, which is still hiring and has loads of H1B employees.

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