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Educators push for immigration reform

Educators push for immigration reform

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013 8:00 pm

MEMPHIS (AP) — Twenty-one leaders of Tennessee’s colleges and universities have sent a letter to the state’s two U.S. senators, urging their support for immigration reform that will allow more graduates to remain in the country after they finish their education.
The letter dated Wednes-day asks Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker to back a bipartisan plan that would ensure that foreign-born students educated in U.S. universities will have a clear path to work in this country after graduation.
The educators say current immigration policy threatens “America’s preeminence as a global center of innovation and prosperity” because of its inability to retain skilled foreign-born graduates. A limited number of visas forces U.S.-educated immigrants to leave the country or face long wait times for a permanent visa, the letter said.
Meanwhile, competing economies are welcoming scientists, engineers and other U.S.-educated professionals with streamlined visa applications and by creating dedicated visas for them, the letter said.
“The important role immigrants play in American innovation must not be discounted or diminished; their contributions and inventions lead to new companies and new jobs for American workers, and are an enormous boon to our economy,” the letter said.
Congress is working on an immigration reform bill. Some lawmakers want a bill that includes a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here illegally, an idea that’s been met with deep skepticism by others.

Published in The Messenger 6.7.13

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