July 10, 2012
The presidents of 122 American universities signed a letter addressed to President Obama and four other government officials requesting the creation of new legislature that would change the current policy surrounding international student visas.
The letter, sent on July 2, begins by acknowledging the importance of research in maintaining America’s dominant position in the 21st century economy. The presidents argue that these young scholars are funded and trained by American universities only to have their visas expire soon after graduation. We neglect the chance to hire some of our brightest employees, and instead send them back to their home countries with competing economies.
To substantiate their claim, the letters lists some crucial statistics, including: the US graduates 16 percent of all PhDs worldwide in scientific and technical field; students on temporary visas were 45 percent of all graduate students in engineering, math, computer science and physical sciences; and that it was recently shown foreign-born inventors were credited contributors on more than 75 percent of patents issued to the top 10 patent-producing universities in the US.