University Presidents Advocate for Immigration Reform
Presidents from various Florida colleges and universities are asking congress to pass an immigration reform that will allow international students to work after completing their advanced degrees. An article posted on WLRN.org states that more than 60 percent of students earning recent doctorates in engineering were non-citizens.
The following article was published on September 17, 2013 by Margie Menzel .
Florida College Presidents To Congress: Pass Immigration Reform
Florida college and university presidents are calling on Congress to pass immigration reform this year, saying it would be better for the state’s economy if foreign students could stay after graduation, instead of being forced to take their diplomas and leave.
The “brain drain” of U.S.-educated foreign students is worrying economic and education leaders who say the students soon become competitors.
In a conference call with reporters Monday, University of Miami President Donna Shalala said a high percentage of non-citizens earn degrees in the high-paying STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – and then depart.
“Half of all of Ph.D. and masters students in the STEM fields in our research universities are students who come from other countries,” Shalala said. “Many of them would like to stay, and we need immigration reform to give them that opportunity and to capture the talent that we’re educating.”
In a Sept. 16 letter to Florida’s Congressional delegation, Shalala and the other presidents wrote that in 2009, 53 percent of students earning masters or doctoral degrees in STEM fields from Florida’s research-intensive universities were non-citizens. More than 60 percent of students earning recent doctorates in engineering were non-citizens.
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