So, according to this report, who are the European emigrants to the U.S. in the early 21st century?
Let's just call them "The Well-Educated Professionals" who tend to work in skilled professions (science, math and technology, for example) and as managers and executives. They are, in fact, the best educated immigrant group in the U.S. and their academic credentials surpass those of native-born Americans.
"Thirty-three percent of EU immigrants have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 28 percent of people born in the United States and 26 percent of immigrants not from the European Union. PhD holders make up 3.5 percent of EU immigrants, compared to 1.7 percent of the non-EU immigrant population and about 1 percent of the US born population."
In the workforce, "EU immigrants make up 4 percent of life and physical scientists; 3 percent of engineers, architects, and surveyors; and 3 percent of social scientists, despite constituting only 1.2 percent of the US population... These trends differ somewhat by sending country: UK-born immigrants, for example, are particularly concentrated in executive and managerial work, while French immigrants dominate in teaching-related professions and the social sciences."
The work situation is even more favorable for EU immigrants as the result of bi-lateral social security agreements between the U.S. and 17 EU states. Under these agreements a French or German who has worked in the U.S. can actually get credit toward government-sponsored retirement pension programs either in the U.S. or the home country. This is also true of American citizens working in some EU countries. I found this U.S. government website which outlines the Totalization Agreement that the U.S. has with France.
Interestingly enough, even the financial crisis did not really put a dent in the number of work visas issued to highly qualified Europeans. “Extraordinary ability” (O-1 visa) issuances increased by almost 30 percent for German and French nationals, for example, and by 38 percent for Spaniards between 2007 and 2009."
Finally, Europeans are more likely than other immigrant groups to become naturalized in the U.S. A whopping 60 percent of immigrants from the EU become naturalized American citizens as opposed to 40 percent of immigrants from other parts of the world.
This is a marvelous situation for the United States but I think it is fair to ask the question: Is this equally good for Europe? I think it is. When people move around they take their brains, experiences and talents with them. Since many European immigrants do return to their countries of origin, Europe benefits from this "brain circulation." I would imagine quite a few dual US/EU citizens are created from this exchange and through the inevitable bi-cultural marriages and families. And let's not forget all the friends, colleagues and connections that an individual gains over a lifetime traipsing back and forth across the Atlantic. You may disagree but I personally am 100% for any peaceful method that makes this world more connected.