[Congressional Record Volume 142, Number 37 (Monday, March 18, 1996)]
[Pages S2251-S2253]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                          IMMIGRANTS AND JOBS

 Mr. ABRAHAM. I would like to alert my Senate colleagues to 
today's editorial by the Wall Street Journal on why the Congress should 
think twice before cutting legal immigration.
  As currently written, the legal immigration reform measures, H.R. 
2202 and S. 1394, would slash legal immigration by nearly half, largely 
through the elimination of whole categories of family-sponsored 
immigration by U.S. citizens. In my judgment, the drastic cuts in legal 
immigration contemplated in these bills would hurt U.S. economic 
growth, job creation; and competitiveness. The fact is that many 
immigrants contribute to our economic well-being by inventing new 
products, starting new entrepreneurial businesses, and creating jobs 
for Americans: A new study by immigration policy analyst Philip Peters 
found that one in four patents in this country is created by immigrants 
alone or by immigrants collaborating with U.S. born coinventors. Four 
of the immigrants surveyed in Mr. Peter's study started their own 
businesses, generating over 1,600 jobs here in America.
  Mr. President, it is also important to point out that not all these 
talented immigrants and entrepreneurs came to America through the 
employment-based immigration system; some of them, like the Intel 
Corp.'s founder Andrew Grove, arrived through the refugee system. 
Others came through the family-sponsored system as minor children, 
adult children, and siblings. The bottom line is that restrictions on 
immigration categories not labeled as ``economic'' will end up hurting 
our economy and our competitiveness.
  Both the academic literature and empirical evidence strongly suggest 
that legal immigrants make important positive contributions to American 
society. I would hope that my colleagues would keep this fact in mind 
as we debate the merits of the pending legal immigration reform bill. I 
ask that the Wall Street Journal article and the study by Mr. Peters be 
printed in the Record.

             [From the Wall Street Journal, Mar. 18, 1996]

                            Review & Outlook

                           scan the Congress

       First, require all laws that apply to the rest of the 
     country also apply equally to the Congress.--Contract With 
     America, September 27, 1994.
       Wise words, and we hope they apply to the immigration bill 
     being pushed on the House floor by Congressman Lamar Smith 
     (R., Texas) and up for a vote as early as Tuesday night. By 
     all means, set up a little office in the House gym and let 
     Congresspeople be the first to line up for their retina 
       Indeed, such an amendment was pondered by Colorado Democrat 
     Pat Schroeder, bless her palpitating heart, though it didn't 
     make the long list of amendments and resolutions available 
     Friday. While the Republican Contract also called for a 
     smaller government, Representative Smith's brainstorm would 
     move toward requiring all citizens to get verification from a 
     federal database before they are allowed to take a new job. 
     Like the Senate version of the bill, it would also pilot a 
     ``voluntary'' national ID system, although both sides, for 
     the moment, seem to be backing away from the sinister 
     biometric identifiers such as retina scans we heard about 
       The ID system is an ornament, of course, on the bill 
     reducing legal immigration by nearly half, cutting family 
     reunions and slashing the intake of refugees. It at least has 
     the virtue of not hiding behind arguments about illegal 
     immigration; it is purely a mean-spirited outburst against 
     legal immigration. The horde of amendments and resolutions 
     try to separate ``good'' immigrants--former H'Mong soldiers, 
     for example, from ``bad'' immigrants--parents of citizens, 
     for example. All of this is to be decided by a Congress that 
     routinely deplores micromanagement from inside the Beltway; 
     proposals to vitiate the family unification principle for 
     immigration come from the same lips that deplore the decline 
     of family values.
       The reality of the immigration contribution to American 
     society comes clear in a study by Philip Peters of the Alexis 
     de Tocqueville Institute. As a proxy for intellectual and 
     economic contribution, Mr. Peters looked at recent U.S. 
     patents. He found that one patent in four in this country is 
     created by immigrants or immigrants working with U.S.-born 
     engineers or investors. This is three times their presence in 
     our population (8.7%), so presumably immigrants are out there 
     doing more than their share to keep the U.S. competitive with 
       Nor of course did all the patenters in the Tocqueville 
     study enter the country on skilled worker visas. Take 
     Alexander Owczarz (O-zarz), a product development engineer 
     who stopped counting after registering his 25th U.S. patent. 
     Mr. Owczarz reckons that one recent patent alone generated 20 
     jobs at Semitool, the Kalispell, Montana, exporter where he 
     works. Mr. Owczarz is a citizen now, but he entered this 
     country on a tourist visa when he got sick of Communist 
     Poland. Nineteen-nineties restrictionists would expel people 
     like Mr. Owczarz when they overstay their visa.
       Or how about refugees? Mr. Smith would cut them. 
     Tocqueville found Ernesto E. Blanco, a professor at MIT who 
     fled Havana in 1960 on a visa provided through a special 
     accelerated program to rescue Cubans from Castro. Mr. Blanco 
     has 13 patents, including a flexible arm that makes 
     endoscopic surgery easier. There are more famous examples: 
     Smith-Simpson-style legislation would bar the door to the 
     future equivalents of Intel's Hungarian refugee, Andrew 
     Grove. For that matter, another big job creator in Silicon 
     Valley, Borland International, was founded by an illegal 
     immigrant, Philippe Kahn.
       In recent days we've seen growing recognition of these 
     points. On the Senate side, Spencer Abraham was able to 
     defeat the far

[[Page S2252]]

     more senior Alan Simpson, and split the Senate legislation 
     into two bills, on legal and illegal immigration. On the 
     House side Congressmen Dick Chrysler (R., Michigan), Sam 
     Brownback (R., Kansas), Howard Berman (D., California) and 
     Phil Crane (R., Illinois) were able to squeeze an unfriendly 
     rules committee into letting them offer an amendment that 
     would remove all Mr. Smith's cutbacks on legal, family-
     sponsored immigration. Steve Chabot, a freshman Republican, 
     and John Conyers, a Democrat, are offering an amendment to 
     strike the odious ID system.
       For freshmen Republicans, this is an issue of heritage. Put 
     bluntly, are they children of Ronald Reagan and the House 
     Contract, or Pat Buchanan and his nativist campaign? Between 
     Senator Simpson and Representative Smith, all of the noxious 
     provisions are likely to come back with the conference 
     committee report. The best hope is that the bills will fall 
     on their own weight, like Hillary Clinton's health-care 
     boondoggle, and that the issue can be taken up by another 
     Congress where cooler heads prevail.

             Made in the USA: Immigrants, Patents, and Jobs

                           Executive summary

       In an effort to quantify the contribution of immigrants to 
     U.S. technological innovation, the Alexis de Tocqueville 
     Institution performed a study of recent U.S. patents. Using a 
     random selection of 1988 and 1994 patents, we found:
       Based on the responses to our survey, about one patent in 
     four (26.4%) is created by immigrants alone or by immigrants 
     collaborating with U.S.-born co-inventors.
       Based on our entire sample (i.e. counting nonresponses as 
     nonimmigrant inventors), about one patent in five (19.2%) 
     involves immigrants as sole or co-inventors. That's a 
     conservative estimate with a 5% margin of error.
       Immigrants account for about 8.7% of the U.S. population. 
     Hence, the study shows immigrants to be more than twice as 
     likely as the general population to generate patented 

      overview: immigrants contribute twice their share of patents

       Scores of anecdotes have created a poetic image of 
     immigrants who arrive as refugees, students, laborers or 
     professionals and go on to create products, companies and 
     even entire industries. But beyond the anecdotes, can the 
     contributions of immigrants to America's industrial cutting 
     edge be quantified?
       The Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI) endeavored to 
     do this by using a well known indicator of technological 
     innovation--issuance of new patents--to measure immigrants' 
     inventiveness and spirit of enterprise.
       Examining 250 recently issued U.S. patents chosen at 
     random, AdTI found that over 19% of the patents in our sample 
     (48 patents) were issued to immigrants alone or to immigrants 
     collaborating with U.S.-born co-inventors. This is over twice 
     immigrants' proportion of the U.S. population--8.7%. \1\
     Footnotes at end of article.
       The immigrant inventors identified in our study include 
     researchers, executives, entrepreneurs and an MIT professor. 
     Four started their own businesses, generating over 1,600 
     jobs. Their innovations include: A system that protects 
     Americans troops inside a front-line combat vehicle from 
     chemical, biological and nuclear contamination; 100 sensors 
     used on the space shuttle, all produced by a company founded 
     by an immigrant inventor, now employing 1500 people; 
     components of GE electric power generators that are exported 
     to Japan; a machine made by a Montana company that generated 
     $10 million in sales last year, and is expected to generate 
     $15 million in sales to both U.S. and export markets this 
       The economic contributions of immigrant inventors are worth 
     considering at a time when Congress is debating legislation 
     to reduce all categories of legal immigration, including 
     specially skilled workers. American high-tech firms rely on 
     skilled foreign workers to meet particular needs. For 
     example, Microsoft software developers are about 95% U.S.-
     born, yet the company finds it ``absolutely essential'' to 
     draw on the technical and cultural knowledge that foreign-
     born employees can bring, according to Microsoft Chairman 
     Bill Gates. New restrictions on the entry of skilled foreign 
     workers or their families ``will really put pressure on us to 
     do a major portion of our software development outside the 
     United States,'' Gates says.\2\ A U.S.-born inventor 
     contacted in this study said immigrants are a ``very valuable 
     asset for American science and technology. . . . You need a 
     constant influx of new ideas and new points of view.'' \3\
       Our findings seem to justify concerns long expressed by 
     foreign governments about the ``brain drain''--the economic 
     loss they suffer when highly skilled citizens emigrate to 
     pursue careers overseas. For example, nearly 2,000 
     professional or semi-professional South African citizens 
     emigrated in 1994. As a result, some South Africans are 
     concerned that emigration means fewer jobs, a smaller 
     tax base and zero return on the state's investment in 
     educating physicians and other professionals. ``For every 
     emigrant--they are mostly highly qualified--at least ten 
     local people lose their jobs,'' said Karen Theron of South 
     Africa's Central Economics Advisory Services.\4\

                      immigrant inventors' stories

       As immigrant inventors were identified in the study, the 
     author conducted interviews with many of them. They described 
     their work and their motivations for coming to America, and 
     offered some thoughts as to why the United States attracts 
     inventive people and why they are productive in the U.S. work 
     environment. Some of the information gathered in those 
     interviews follows: The inventors' patent numbers are noted 
     in parentheses.
       Fred Kavli is Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Kavlico 
     Corporation in Moore Park, California. Kavli immigrated from 
     Norway in 1956 with a physics degree in hand, and founded the 
     company on a shoestring two years later. ``This was the land 
     of opportunity--especially then,'' he told us. ``There was no 
     other country I could go to to do that.''
       Kavlico makes sensors, primarily for aeronautical controls 
     and automotive pollution controls. One hundred Kavlico 
     sensors operate on the space shuttle.
       Kyong Park is Kavlico's Vice President for Research and 
     Development. A physicist, he came to the U.S. from Korea in 
     1969 to pursue his education. Park joined Kavlico in 1977 and 
     holds 24 patents.
       With Kavli's assistance, Park was able to stay in the 
     United States to pursue his career. He preferred to stay here 
     because Korea was under a ``corrupt'' military government in 
     the 1970's, where bribery was rife and ``only people with 
     connections had opportunity,'' he said. ``Here, if you work 
     hard you have opportunity. People from outside really 
     appreciate this society and this culture.''
       According to Kavli, Kyong Park was ``instrumental'' in the 
     pressure sensor development that brought Kavlico into the 
     automotive pollution control market. This has helped to 
     propel Kavlico's growth from $4 million in sales and 120 
     employees in 1977 to $150 million in sales and 1,500 
     employees today.
       Park was reticent to be interviewed, explaining that he 
     does not seek special recognition for his work. But he did 
     describe an experience at a recent company picnic. A 
     colleague pointed to the 3,000 employees and family members 
     and told Park, ``See, all these people are making a living 
     because of your hard work.'' ``I never thought of it that 
     way,'' Park said. ``I felt good that I have helped not just 
     my family, but many of those people too.'' (Kavli/Park joint 
     patent 1988/4735098)
       Ram Labhaya Malik of San Jose, California immigrated from 
     India in 1971. An engineer, he is co-inventor of an air 
     purification system now in use in the Army's Bradley Fighting 
     Vehicle, a front-line troop carrier. The system protects 
     personnel inside from nuclear, chemical and biological 
     contamination. One of his co-inventors immigrated from the 
     Netherlands, the other is U.S.-born. (1988/4793832)
       Richard Baker is founder and president of Membrane 
     Technologies of Menlo Park, California. A native of the 
     United Kingdom, he came to the U.S. to pursue post-doctoral 
     studies, was offered a job and immigrated in 1966. He holds a 
     Ph.D. in chemistry and has 57 patents. His company employs 30 
     people. Membrane Technologies produces and sells air 
     purification systems and conducts scientific research under 
     government contract. (1944/5364629)
       Aleksander Owczarz is a mechanical engineer at Semitool 
     Inc., a Kalispell, Montana company that makes capital 
     equipment for the semiconductor industry. Dissatisfied with 
     the system in Poland (``It was not my cup of tea''), he 
     emigrated in 1978 to seek new opportunity in the United 
     States. He stopped counting his patents when his 25th was 
     issued. His latest patent is for a precision cleaning machine 
     for wafer boxes and wafer carriers. Over 20 Semitool 
     employees work full-time manufacturing that machine. It is 
     sold in the U.S., Europe and Asia; sales were $10 million in 
     1995 and are projected to grow to $15 million this year. 
     ``It's not just bright people'' that lead to technological 
     innovation, he said. ``The combination of bright individuals 
     and the right environment is what makes people productive 
     here.'' (1944/5357991)
       Ernest Blanco immigrated from Cuba in 1960 and teaches 
     engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He 
     holds thirteen patents. In our sample, we found a design for 
     a flexible arm for medical endoscopes (diagnostic and 
     surgical devices) that he and a student created for Johnson & 
     Johnson. Discussing the propensity of immigrants to work hard 
     in scientific and technological research, he said, ``It's the 
     environment here and the way we immigrants thing about the 
     United States as a land where great inventions are being 
     made. Immigrants feel the way to break the economic barrier 
     is to invent something that will be of use to large numbers 
     of Americans. We become worthy by using our brains.'' (1994/
       Anatoly Galperin, an engineer, came to the U.S. as a 
     refugee from Russia in 1989. He works for the Miller Edge 
     company in Concordville, Pennsylvania. In Russia, he worked 
     in telecommunications; here, his field is sensors, including 
     the invention found in our sample: a safety feature 
     (``sensing Edge'') of mechanical doors sold throughout the 
     U.S. and to some overseas customers. (1994/5299387)
       Michael Pryor of Woodbridge, Connecticut immigrated from 
     England in 1953 with a doctorate in metallurgy. He holds 130 
     U.S. patents, and become vice President for Metals

[[Page S2253]]

     Research at the Olin Corporation in 1973. He is now retired. 
     At Olin, he calculated that the research department he 
     directed produced a three-to-one monetary return. Its 
     innovations include alloys, manufacturing processes, and the 
     process used to produce the metal composites needed to mint 
     quarters and dimes ever since the 90 percent silver-10 
     percent copper blend was discontinued. Pryor recruited both 
     U.S.-born and immigrant scientists for his labs, and 
     expressed particular admiration for Indian and Asian 
     metallurgists. ``I didn't hire immigrants because I wanted 
     to,'' he said, ``there were just not enough U.S. citizens 
     graduating to fill up the ranks--there was too much 
     competition from other labs and universities.'' (1988/
       Angela Michaels of Elkhart, Indiana is a chemist who works 
     for the Bayer Corporation. She immigrated from Italy in 1962. 
     She holds six patents; all are in use in Bayer's products, 
     including ``dip and read'' urinalysis strips for kidney 
     disease detection. (1988/4717658)
       Sung Kwon of Burnsville, Minnesota was among many investors 
     drawn to the United States for educational opportunity. After 
     completing his undergraduate work at the best university of 
     Korea, he came to the University of Minnesota in 1965 to 
     pursue the advanced engineering studies that was ``not 
     available in Korea.'' He is now employed at Thermo King 
     Corporation (a Westinghouse division) and holds seven US 
     patents. (1994/5288643)
       Jacob Haller and his family immigrated to the United States 
     from the former Yugoslavia in 1955. An engineer, he founded 
     the Emconn Tool company of Wheeling, Illinois and holds six 
     patents. Emconn makes equipment for the electrical connector 
     industry; its customers are the major telecommunications 
     companies. After building the company up to 20 employees, 
     Haller sold the manufacturing operation and now works with 
     one other employee developing new products. (1988/4718167)
       David Lomas of Arlington Heights, Indiana is a chemical 
     engineer with the UOP corporation. He came to the United 
     States from England in 1973. He holds over 30 patents; the 
     invention in our sample is a ``catalytic cracking'' process 
     used in petroleum refining. (1988/4757039)
       Mohamed Hashem, a chemist, is an Egyptian-born immigrant 
     working for the Rhone-Poulenc corporation's unit in Cranbury, 
     NJ. He holds about two dozen patents, several of which are in 
     commercial use, principally polymers for paints and coatings. 
       Ian Crawford, an electrical engineer from Scotland, was 
     offered a job in the U.S. while here on a sales trip in 1980. 
     Dissatisfied with the opportunities before him in Scotland, 
     he took the job, came to the United States and went on to 
     found his own company. Analog Modules of Orlando, Florida now 
     employs over 60 people in the design, development and 
     manufacture of laser electronics. (1994/5311353)
       Mitchell Budniak of Skokie, Illinois is an electrical 
     engineer who holds six patents. He and his parents were taken 
     from the native Poland to Germany during World War II where, 
     he said, his parents ``were basically slave labor.'' When the 
     war ended, Budniak was eleven years old, and they came to the 
     United States. His patents including a blood analysis unit 
     and a computerized unit that monitors the vital signs of at-
     home patients and dispenses medication. (1988/4740080)
       The late Stephen Slovenkai of Leominster, Massachusetts had 
     a 30-year chemical engineering career, including a patent for 
     a polymer fabrication method. In 1940 at age 14, he came to 
     the United States from the former Czechoslovakia. His family 
     settled in northeastern Pennsylvania, where his father worked 
     as a coal miner and he graduated first in his high school 
     class. He joined the U.S. Army and served in the postwar 
     occupation forces in Italy. (1988/4730027)
       Ranjit Gill of Schenectady, New York is an engineer who 
     immigrated from India in 1970. The invention we encountered 
     in our study is a cooling system that his employer, GE, has 
     put to use in the world's largest electrical power 
     generators, which are exported to Japan. (1994/5374866)
       Dodd Wing Fong of Naperville, Illinois is a chemist who 
     came to the United States from Hong Kong in 1962 to attend 
     graduate school. He holds over 70 patents; the one 
     encountered in our study is a polymer used in water 
     purification. (1988/4731419)

                             survey results

       Sample size: 250.
       Patents issued to immigrant inventors: 48.
       Patents issued to U.S.-born inventors: 134.
       No response: 68.
       Patents issued to immigrants, as percentage of total sample 
     (48/250): 19.2 percent.
       Patents issued to immigrants, as percentage of respondents 
     (48/180): 26.4 percent.
       Foreign-born percentage of U.S. population: 8.7 percent.

                      how this study was conducted

       Sample. This study was performed by contacting inventors 
     whose inventions resulted in U.S. patents issued in 1988 and 
     1994. To generate a random sample of 250 patents approved in 
     1988 and 1994, the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution created 
     a random list of patent numbers from those years, and drew 
     our sample from that list.\5\ This process generated patents 
     issued to both U.S. and foreign inventors. Excluding the 
     patents issued to inventors living overseas, we were left 
     with a sample of 122 1988 patents and 128 1994 patents. The 
     years 1988 and 1994 were chosen to yield a sample including 
     both very recent patents and patents that might have been 
     used in commercial applications.
       Canvassing. Using the home addresses in the patent 
     applications, we attempted to reach these inventors by phone 
     and/or letter. When we could not reach an inventor by mail or 
     telephone, or through a representative such as a patent 
     attorney, that patent was listed as ``no response.'' The 
     canvassing took place between January 15 and March 4, 1996.
       Margin of error. This survey's margin of error is 4.9% at a 
     95% confidence level. That is, there is 95% likelihood that 
     identical surveys will yield results within a range 4.9 
     percentage points higher or lower than the result found here 
     (19.2%, or 48 immigrant inventors/250 patents). Because we 
     effectively counted as non-immigrants those inventors who did 
     not respond or could not be reached, our finding of 19.2% 
     immigrant inventors is probably conservative.


     1. 1994 foreign-born population as a percentage of total U.S. 
     population, based on the Census Bureau's Current Population 
     2. Bill Gates, ``A World of Talent Out There,'' The Buffalo 
     News, January 2, 1996, p. E7.
     3. Author's interview with inventor Andrew Olah of Spencer, 
     Ohio, February 13, 1996.
     4. Johan Coetzee, ``Emigration Costs Country 10,000 Jobs 
     Yearly,'' Johannesburg BEELD, December 1, 1995, p. S2.
     5. We generated the list using a Lotus spreadsheet, using the 
     formula P=(RN)+L, where P is the patent number, R is a random 
     number between 0 and 1, N is the number of patents issued in 
     the year (1988 or 1994) and L is the lowest patent number 
     issued in that year. Patent numbers are assigned 
     consecutively and sequentially.