The United States may not be fighting Russia in Ukraine with weapons, but there is one key tool the Biden administration should deploy to counter Russia: green cards.
Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a multi-pronged invasion of Ukraine, hitting major cities, killing more than 100 people and displacing thousands. The campaign was widely condemned by international leaders and met with strong resistance from the Russian public. In a nation that routinely and brutally suppresses dissent, thousands of Russian citizens participated in protests against Putin's invasion of Ukraine. "No to war," chanted some 1,000 protesters in Moscow, as more than 1,300 people were detained across the country.
Putin does not enjoy unanimous support for his invasion, and there may well be a growing appetite among his people to flee the regime. This is a great opportunity for the United States to open its doors, robbing Putin of the brainpower that drives its economy and this conflict. Moreover, the Biden administration could bolster America's innovative advantage by providing a haven for Russian citizens disgusted by their government's actions.
National Review's Robert Zubrin proposed as much yesterday in an article entitled "Drain Putin's Brains", in which he argued that the United States should "make the smart decision and remove the men and women Putin needs to win" the fight in Ukraine. "The United States could, with the stroke of a pen, totally destroy Russia's ability to compete with us militarily or economically by offering a green card to any Russian with a technical degree who wishes to emigrate to the United States," Zubrin continued. . Such a move may not stop the current invasion, but it would hamper Russia's ability to participate in the high-tech economy, which is fully in line with the central thrust of Biden's announced sanctions against the Kremlin. .
Removing Russian intelligence from Putin will undoubtedly benefit America. The United States has a history of accepting great minds fleeing rival nations, from scientists who escaped the Axis and later joined the Manhattan Project to the many artists, athletes, and authors who defected from the Union. Soviet. Immigrants are more likely to start businesses than native Americans, a trend that fully applies to Russian migrants. Accepting Russian immigrants, like other groups, would help create jobs for native Americans, not take them away.
Unfortunately, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has already created a disturbing level of skepticism towards Russian nationals on our soil. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D–California) floated the idea that “kicking all Russian students out of the United States” should be “on the table.” This proposal would target the approximately 5,000 Russian students studying in the United States from 2021. Needless to say, punishing uninvolved citizens for the sins of their government is a terrible idea and one that would do little to deter the Putin's aggression.
The United States should welcome Russians who wish to flee Putin's repressive regime and hope to live and prosper on American soil. War as a form of competition with Russia would only lead to economic destruction by America, regardless of the eventual outcome of the conflict. Instead, the United States can strengthen its economy by depriving Putin of the minds that drive Russia's industrial engines.