Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 7, 2013 – Foreign students come to the U.S. to study STEM, and then must leave to work elsewhere.
Now a group of senators is pushing for a fast track system to award green cards to foreign students working on STEM degrees.
Business owners are increasingly vocal about their concerns that U.S. immigration laws are creating a national “brain drain,” sending away foreign students who come to the U.S. to study in one of the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). Many of the students have landed in a U.S. college or university, after qualifying for a scholarship funded, at least in part, by taxpayer money, advocates say. The U.S. is paying for these people to come train in these fields, and then they are sent them away due to overly strict green card quota systems.
Currently, individual countries are limited to no more than 7 percent of green cards. Students from India or China face huge hurdles if they want to be employed in the U.S. The green card system, immigration advocates warn, is in danger of crippling U.S. economic growth.
“Our immigrations policies are sadly lagging far behind our country’s reality,” said Houston immigration attorney Annie Banerjee. “And the result is that, even when unemployment is high, the high tech industry cannot find enough suitable candidates.”
According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement records, more than 40 percent of the STEM students in Master’s and Ph.D. programs in the U.S. are immigrants: approximately 205,600 students, as of 2011. And while there is no formal tracking system to know for certain how many of those students earn their degree and leave the U.S. to work elsewhere, colleges and universities, as well as hiring heads at companies across the U.S., report that they see foreign students being driven out of the country.
The U.S. workplace’s demand for STEM grads is expected to reach 230,000 by the year 2018, according to one study released by Georgetown University, due in large part to the growing tech industry.
Annie Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer specializing in helping people become United States citizens. The law offices assist in visas and other legal immigration requirements as well. To learn more, visit http://www.visatous.com.
Law Offices of Annie Banerjee
131 Brooks Street, Suite #300
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Phone: (281) 242-9139