MetroWest Daily News
July 1, 2012
In a recent speech to Latino leaders, Mitt Romney said: “If you get an advanced degree, we want you to stay here. So I’d staple a green card to the diploma of someone who gets an advanced degree in America.” A year ago, Barack Obama said he was all for “encouraging foreign students to stay in the U.S. and contribute to our economy by stapling a green card to the diplomas” of those with advanced degrees in STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math).
That’s not a misprint. The two presidential candidates used virtually the same language and weren’t advertising an office supply company. Though they quarrel about everything else, they agree on reforming the current immigration system to make it easier for talented foreign-born students to stay in this country and give us the benefit of their energy, ideas and investment.
At a time of sluggish job growth and persistent unemployment, here is one policy change that could clearly make a difference. Yet it does not happen. That is silly, stupid, self-defeating — perhaps the best example of how the legislative system places political game-playing ahead of the national interest.