Given current demographics and educational trends, it's a lot less likely that the "next Bill Gates" will be born in the U.S. Given our country's decreasing share of the world's population and rapidly improving education around the globe, talented individuals throughout the world have vastly greater opportunities than they did a generation ago.
But such a person could still grow up somewhere else and wish to live and work here. Indeed, the access to venture capital and strong protection of IP in the U.S. provide powerful incentives for talented young men and women to move here. And our companies and economy benefit from these talented individuals. The big question is whether we'll let them in.
As in-house counsel, why should we care about this? The answer is clear. In a broadening variety of industries, future growth opportunities for our clients will turn on their ability to recruit talent in competition with successful companies in other countries. The immigration laws will determine whether we can.