Danger: The brain drain and human resources

The coronavirus pandemic has proved disastrous for all the nations of the world, and especially for the less-developed ones, which are now facing another serious economic threat: the theft of brains and human resources by developed countries.

An article in the New York Times of 24 November 2021 (of six in a row devoted to emigration) emphasises that covid kept many people locked up at home; and now several developed countries, facing an aging work force and labour shortages, are rushing to recruit, train and integrate foreigners.

Until recently, with underhand propaganda manoeuvres, the plundering of talent and graduate professionals in Latin America and the Caribbean was already becoming a deadly epidemic for the development of those nations.

Before the pandemic a report by the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA) indicated that in recent times Latin America had been the region of the world with the greatest increase in emigration to more developed countries. The figures are economically damaging for countries that, with few resources and enormous efforts, train their professionals while others, despite having greater potential, take them away, at no cost.

Between 1990 and 2010, SELA reported that 4.1 million Latin American doctors, engineers, cyberneticists, mathematicians, architects and other professionals emigrated to the United States and 1 million to the European Union. The curtains that were used to hide these thefts have fallen, and the actions are being carried out openly.

“It’s a war for young talent,” asserts Parag Khanna, author of the book Move (2021), who has advised governments on immigration policy. “There is a much clearer ladder and codification of residency levels as countries get serious about having balanced demographics and meeting labour shortages.”

The New York Times article notes: “As the global economy reboots and tries to put the pandemic aside, a worldwide battle for the young and the skilled has begun. With fast-track visas and promises of permanent residency, many of the wealthy nations driving the global economy are sending a message to skilled immigrants around the world: we are offering you jobs.”

It reports that in Germany the authorities admitted that they need 400,000 new immigrants a year to fill various jobs and are offering expedited visas to individuals and six months to visit and find sources of employment.

Canada, which for the fifth consecutive year had a decline in births, plans to grant residence to 1.2 million new immigrants; and New Zealand announced that it will grant a permanent stay to hundreds of holders of temporary visas. Belgium, Finland and Greece granted work rights to foreigners who had arrived on student visas or other categories.

The writer adds that in Australia, where mines, hospitals and bars are short of labour after almost two years with the border closed, the government intends to double the number of immigrants, while Britain, which has suffered a drain of workers after Brexit and the pandemic, will admit the arrival of workers from different countries.

The United States, the largest recipient of immigrants, ensures the admission of specialised personnel through various schemes established for decades, such as the “green card,” and gimmicks such as the so-called “bombos,” Parole and others without excluding the millions of temporary workers who work in agriculture, services, and construction.

The reality is that with the brain drain the country of origin loses the investment in higher education of these professionals, as well as the social capital of which the individual was a part, which reduces the economic possibilities and development of the country.

A report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) states that between 2015 and 2017 a total of 866,000 Mexicans emigrated, among them “scientists, technicians, and highly qualified personnel.” Mexico is followed by Colombia (364,000), Cuba (345,000), Jamaica (271,000), Brazil (266,000), Peru (251,000), Argentina (222,000), Venezuela (199,000), Dominican Republic (168,000), Ecuador (160,000), Haiti (157,000), and El Salvador (125,000).

The Republic of Cuba has been a special political case for the United States, which for more than sixty years has imposed a suffocating economic-financial siege and, in an attempt to destroy its revolution, offers ample emigration facilities to any citizen of the country, the only one in the world to receive these “benefits.”

After the lack of qualified professionals, because of different factors, that developed countries are now suffering from, they have swooped down like vultures on developing countries to extract their professionals. Once again the rich are raging against the poorest, making it increasingly necessary to create a fairer and more just world for the good of Humanity.