The recent immigration ban in the United States has at least one unintended consequence.  Even if the ban is lifted, the intolerance demonstrated means the U.S. will have lowered the high standard of its educational institutions.

The U.S. has some of the best upper-end universities in the world : Harvard, CalTech, MIT, University of Chicago, and yes Donald, the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Michio Kaku, a renown U.S. physicist, says that the H1B is the secret weapon of the U.S.  The H1B is the visa category that allows exceptional scientists and scholars access to the U.S.

In 2011, 50% of PhD candidates in the United States were foreign born.  That is a tremendous infusion of intelligence and skill that the U.S. receives.

Education used to be a powerful political tool for the United States.  It was a way to attract the best minds in the world to the U.S. to study.  While there, they could see what the U.S. was really like and decide for themselves about U.S. citizens.

As Dr. Kaku argues, the admission of leading thinkers from around the world helps improve the U.S. economy through the development of new technologies and creation of new employment.  The list of immigrants that started Silicon Valley successes is extensive.  Add to that immigrants have played a part in leading medical developments, even leadership of major corporations.

These U.S. trained thinkers have also stimulated “silicon valleys” in India, China and other countries showing that leading thinking creates economic growth and longer term prosperity.

Now even corporate have to ask whether locating research facilities in the U.S. will mean they have issues recruiting the best talent.  And whether that talent will even want to come to the U.S. where they might be hassled and abused.

I was recently at an event for the President of one of Canada’s top 3 universities.  He said that he had already been contacted by many academics in the U.S. who wanted to explore the opportunity of relocating to a Canadian university in less than two weeks.

The unintended consequence of intolerance in the U.S. may well be a brain drain that improves the level of academic standards in Canada and other more tolerant countries.

While the U.S. institutions fall to lower standards, they will certainly fall in the rankings of post secondary institutions around the world becoming less competitive.

Strengthening Canadian universities and research facilities with stronger staffs will surely result in long term economic growth for Canada.  We may benefit from a concern by the best and the brightest for intolerance, discrimination and social humiliation in the United States.

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