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Reverse Brain Drain


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STEM

Credit: Franklin High School (MA)

A reverse brain drain is occurring in the U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields as U.S. immigration laws discourage foreign nationals who have earned advanced degrees at U.S. universities from staying in the country.

At a recent U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary subcommittee hearing, legislators, academics, and private-sector leaders discussed how the system can be changed to help keep the United States competitive globally in STEM fields. Ideas for keeping more foreign nationals in the country included attaching green cards to advanced STEM degrees, increasing the number of employment visas available, and eliminating the annual visa cap. Duke University professor Vivek Wadhwa recommended offering temporary visas to foreigners who have bought homes meeting a certain price threshold, and offering green cards to those who start companies that employ Americans.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has co-sponsored a bill that would eliminate the employment visa cap over a four-year period. Another bill includes several visa changes, including making it easier for immigrants who create businesses and employ Americans to stay in the country.

From Inside Higher Ed
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