“Hillary Clinton promises Green Card to STEM F-1 visa students who graduate with a Master’s/doctoral degree”

Photo courtesy of The American Bazaar

Now THAT’S a headline you don’t see every day.  (Follow this link to read the article from which it was taken.)  While the current anti-immigrant, anti-foreign climate in the US is not ideal for these types of proposals, I’m pleased to see that this issue is (still) being discussed.

The notion that certain international students who study in the US should be allowed to remain after graduation, should they so desire, is not a new one.  President Obama has alluded to it in a couple of State of the Union speeches and even Donald Trump has mentioned it.

Instead of limiting permanent resident status to international STEM graduates with a Master’s or Ph.D. degree, why not include any international student who wishes to remain in the US for the long term?  After all, deciding where to work, live and, possibly, emigrate to is a personal decision.  Besides, the US population is graying (median age:  37.8 vs. 29.7 for the world), and the economy needs a certain percentage of international graduates to remain, regardless of field of study.  As with other well-educated immigrants, they generally make the US a better place on so many levels.

Why not reform student visa policy, following in the footsteps of competitor countries such as Australia and Canada, and base visa issuances on one criterion:  ability to pay.  By issuing an I-20, admitting institutions have already made a determination that they are bona fide students and their post-study plans are a personal decision.  (Many don’t even know what they’ll be doing and many others simply jump through the necessary hoops and say what the interviewing consular wants and needs to hear about returning to their home country.)

Growing numbers of Vietnamese students are returning home because Viet Nam has become a land of economic opportunity in many fields.  Others relocate to a third country for employment.  Still others remain in the US for the long term, again for employment and other reasons, e.g., marriage to a US national.


One thought on ““Hillary Clinton promises Green Card to STEM F-1 visa students who graduate with a Master’s/doctoral degree”

  1. Being Canadian, as well as an American International Educator, I have seen both sides of this issue at play. I would love for the US to be able to better compete for a talented immigrant population.

    We have too many people here who attempt to mask their xenophobic tendencies with rhetoric that focuses on economic concerns, i.e., “we need to put a stop to immigration bc they are taking away our jobs!” Well, if we graduated more qualified American STEM students from our schools, then we would be having a different conversation, wouldn’t we?

    I once heard Bill Cosby joke about this in a live show at my alma mater (I know his name is mud right now, but bear with me on this, LOL). He said that he noticed that all the advanced kids in his daughter’s classes were children of immigrants–“hyphenated Americans,” so to speak. He said the top performers were all Asian-Americans, Indian-Americans, Vietnamese-Americans, etc. At one point, he saw a kid and said,”that one might be American!” His daughter responded, “She is Canadian.” Of course, I cheered really loudly–I was seated in second row, center, after all. Then he responded, “That’s right: she was Pakistani-Canadian!” LOL

    Jokes aside, he made a valid point. We have to use a multifaceted approach to this problem. Not only do we need responsible, logical, comprehensive immigration reform, but we also need to improve our primary and secondary education system — especially in minority-serving districts.

    Beyond that, we need a paradigm shift in our culture, as well–particularly in how we view and value education. We value athletes more than mathletes in our society. Both are important, but I would wager that mathletes are the ones who got us to the moon.

    I could go on about this forever, but I’m actually on a store right now and running out of time to keep ranting, LOL!

    I will finish with this: At the end of the day, if our K-12 education isn’t cutting it, and if our society doesn’t value education the way it should be valued (and reward those who do), then it behooves the government to enact policy that will enable us to ensure that the labor market supply meets the demand in critical industries. So, to me, relaxing regulations for work visas and work-based/talent-based immigration seems like it should be the low-hanging fruit.

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