Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, was recently a guest on CNN’s GPS Road Map. Hosted by Fareed Zakaria this great episode focused on what we as a nation are doing “wrong” in terms of immigration affecting certain group of people, international students that is, and how changing our approach to immigration can in fact be a very helpful tool to help us get out of these economic hard times. Please don’t get me wrong! Just because I am a first generation American it doesn’t necessarily mean that I “blindly” support immigration, as a matter of fact, I don’t! But there are certain group of people for whom making immigration opportunities more flexible can in fact mean creating more jobs and keeping the needed talent in the U.S. and in return these talented individuals can continue onto helping us remain as the leading economic power by creating jobs either with their investments or by coming up with the “next big thing”. Remember that more than 200 of all Fortune 500 companies are established by immigrants or by former international students. Examples include Google, Yahoo, and Intel. Now there is another way we can look at this issue: International Students’ contribution to the U.S. economy exceeds well over $21 billion a year, through their expenditures on tuition and living expenses, according to the Open Doors Report published yearly by the Institute of International Education with the assistance of U.S. Department of State. The value of the influence these students have on sustaining local economies in cities and states across America is remarkable and most importantly let’s also remember that these American-taught global-citizens are our very own voluntary goodwill ambassadors. As U.S. continues to make work visas and immigration opportunities harder and harder for higher education degree receiving international students we must realize that in long term this will translate into loosing those potential money-makers and job-creators! Having seen the value of international students’ effect on U.S. economy other nations have already begun “stealing” our prospective students by providing easy access to work permits, lower tuition rates and other attractive offers so that they get to host these students instead of U.S. So who is to guaranty that those international students whom we send back home after handing them their diplomas and a pat on the shoulder, will continue to loyally choose U.S. for their higher education opportunities? Let’s face the truth, which sometimes hurt! We are in trouble as a nation! We have lost our automobile industry, we have lost our manufacturing jobs, we even have failed ourselves in so called leadership in technology and information age. Thanks to those small thinkers who saw more value on outsourcing in the short term but failed to see its negative effects in the long run. And now we make international education a risky business also. In a way, we have always been so sure of ourselves and simply too confident so we forgot to think creatively and innovatively. Historically we, the Americans, always were the best and first on everything and thinking so put us in this current “losing” situation so who is to say that we will never lose our appeal to future foreign students!