University presidents say immigration reform needed to boost innovation

Kristen Domonell's picture

Three university presidents from Arizona State University, Cornell University and Miami Dade College are urging their counterparts at other American universities and colleges to hold events next month that highlight the importance of immigration reform.

In an open letter sent Tuesday to more than 1,200 university officials, the three university presidents said the current U.S. immigration system forces talented foreign graduates with degrees in technical fields — science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) — back to their home countries to compete against the United States. The officials also argue that many foreign-born students that came to the U.S. with their families are not able to attend college because they are undocumented, which keeps qualified students out of universities and poses a risk to American innovation.

"Our classes help shape the next generation of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, creators of culture and thinkers, while our labs help bring the next great ideas to life," the letter reads. "Too often, however, our ability to educate and our ability to innovate are frustrated by U.S. immigration laws."

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