On Tuesday, the New York Times published an article entitled “Republicans Push Bill to Help Foreign Science Graduates Stay”. This article discussed the current legislation in the House that would “increase the number of permanent resident visas for foreigners graduating from American universities with advanced degrees in science and technology” (Preston, 2012). These allocated visas would replace the current lottery that allows people from countries that do not have large immigrant populations to apply for a visa to enter the country. This bill would keep the number of visas issued annually at 55,000, rather than increasing the number of visas issued, which has met some criticism within the House. The reasoning behind this bill was to “offer visas so science and technology graduates could remain [in the United States] and start businesses to create jobs” (Preston, 2012). The main advocate of the bill, Rep. Lamar Smith, was quoted in the article saying, “In a global economy, we cannot afford to educate these foreign graduates in the U.S. and then send them back home to work for our competitors” (Preston, 2012). Since foreign graduates are a large percentage of the graduate students in these fields, the issue of obtaining a permanent visa after graduation is an important one.
This article speaks to the importance of immigration and education in both the United States and other countries. People are coming from all over the world to the United States to receive a higher education, leading me to believe that the education systems in their home countries are either seriously flawed, or not competitive with the U.S. This is also an issue of global economy and competition, as well as the national economy in the United States. Educating students and then forcing them to go back to their home country is a terrible idea as far as business goes, especially since those graduates could build companies here and provide numerous jobs for those qualified citizens who are currently out of work or are employed at low-skill jobs, enabling them to move up and opening up jobs for those who have a lesser education (as in, not as highly qualified). Finally, this article speaks to the issue of racial and ethnic discrimination in the United States (as well as worldwide). Our legislators are currently unwilling to pass bills that would allow more people into the United States, and the idea that Rep. Smith and his supporters want to replace the lottery with the allocated visas without compromise suggests that he (and therefore the entire Congress) wants to legislate and restrict immigration even further, potentially keeping more people out and being entirely selective about who is “allowed” in.
Preston, Julia. "Republicans Push Bill to Help Foreign Science Graduates Stay - NYTimes.com." The New York Times. N.p., 18 Sept. 2012. Web. 21 Sept. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/us/republicans-push-bill-to-help-foreign-science-graduates-stay.html?ref=internationaleducation&_r=0&pagewanted=print>.