When Immigration Matters

Should Foreign STEM Graduates Get Green Cards?

Posted by Michael Pollak on May 29, 2012 6:39:00 PM

green cards for STEM grads?In the March 25th edition of US News, the Debate Club (a meeting of the sharpest minds on the day's most important topics that lets readers decide the most persuasive), tackles the controversial and widely publicized proposal for foreign STEM graduates to get green cards with their diplomas.

Proponents see the growth of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, known collectively as STEM, to be crucial in keeping the United States competitive on the global stage and fueling strong economic growth.  Supporters also argue that immigrants who come to the United States to learn about the sciences should be encouraged to stay here once they have graduated. They fear that otherwise, foreign STEM grads will take their skills and education to their home countries, costing America the opportunity for job-creating innovation.

Opponents say this and similar measures would have the opposite effect, taking jobs away from Americans and supressing wages in the fields. They believe there are better ways to overhaul our dysfunctional immigration system and that STEM industries have plenty of US labor without foreign graduates. 

The STAPLE Act, which would grant immigrants who earn Ph.D.’s in STEM fields permanent residency and exempt them from immigrant quota limitations, is one initiative being proposed to keep foreign STEM graduates on U.S. soil in the hopes that they will create successful companies and more jobs for Americans. Should foreign STEM graduates get green cards?

Read the arguments of each Debate Club member here...

Tags: Permanent Residency, Green Card, STAPLE Act, STEM

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