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A recent posting to the Bits Blog (hosted by NYTimes.com) calls the bank bailout legislation’s provision discouraging banks from recruiting skilled foreign workers “a political gesture, understandable and probably empty.” The real problem is the great number of “bright, ambitious” immigrants leaving the United States and returning home. This problem is the topic of a report released on March 2, “America’s Loss Is the World’s Gain” (PDF). The principal author of the report estimates that over the next five years 100,000 immigrants from India and China will leave the United States, as compared to 50,000 over the past two decades. Of the 1,203 Indian and Chinese workers who were surveyed for the report, growing demand for their skills and promising career opportunities back home were cited by 87% of the Chinese and 79% of the Indians as the major professional reason for returning.