Immigration, from a Higher Education Lens.

March 8, 2013

Our FIU Partners: Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), Association of American Universities (AAU), American Council on Education (ACE), American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), and NAFSA: Association of International Educators have come together to put together a view on Immigration from the Higher Education point of view.

This comes as a direct consequence of the fact that our ability to educate and our ability to innovate are frustrated by US immigration laws. The group notes that in particular, it is a strain on the innovation-rich fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Across the United States, Universities and Colleges train many of the brightest minds of the world, only to have those students sent abroad to compete against the US because our immigration laws do not provide a viable path for them to stay here.

It is noted that 76% of the top 10 U.S. patent-producing Universities received in 2011 had an immigrant inventor. Keeping these inventors in the US after graduation would help power American innovation and create American jobs.

The U.S. immigration system should be reformed in order to streamline the green card process for those who graduate with an advanced STEM degree from a U.S. higher education institution so our nation can reap the benefit of having educated these future leaders.

This group supports legislative proposals that would allow the “best and brightest” international students, to remain in the United States following the completion of their studies, especially those with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees.

Why the emphasis on STEM? It is cited that by 2018, the US will have an estimated 779,000 jobs that require advanced STEM degrees, but only an estimated 555,200 advanced STEM degree holders, a shortage of more than 220,000 workers.

Click here to see a copy of the current proposal at hand.

Click here to see a brief outline/summary of the Immigration Innovation Act of 2013.