I did think Collier’s line “Migrant families do well for themselves by jumping into a chain of lifeboats headed for the developed world” was ignorant and stereotypical of the “(im)migration experience” though.
Many undocumented (im)migrants came to their adopted country legally and simply overstayed their visa. I was voted Most Likely to Overstay Her Visa when I was in college because I was so happy when studying abroad in Australia. My mom thought for sure I was heading back after graduation. It’s been six years since I’ve seen the country, but I plan to return one day.
Ignorant comments aside, Collier raises some good points. I, too, believe that the brain drain hurts one country while benefiting another. I don’t feel guilty about leaving the US because I know there are plenty of people just like me: formally educated with a specific skill set.
I don’t know about “forcing” a person to return to his/her homeland, but I do think there needs to be more conversations concerning why people leave to begin with. A government has to make people feel like they have opportunities for growth if it wants them to stay. Growth (be it personal, educational, or professional related) is my #1 reason for moving around. Feeling stymied is a reason to leave in my mind.