Four university leaders from Florida urged Congress on Monday to reform immigration laws so that high-skilled foreign students aren’t forced to leave this country to compete with Florida businesses.
They also said many students are stifled because their immigration status is in limbo.
The teleconference was part of an ongoing lobbying effort by many in Florida, home to an estimated 825,000 illegal immigrants.
“Every single one of us has wonderful students whose immigration status may be questionable, who may have come here as small children and are having a very difficult time both getting into universities and getting access to financial aid,” said Donna Shalala, president of the University of Miami. “They really are the bread-winners of the future and the young people we want to invest in.”
House Republican leaders say they aren’t ignoring these issues. But they have been reluctant to consider a Senate-passed bill that would give millions of immigrants a chance to become legal residents and eventually become citizens.
The bill would also expand visas for high-skilled students — especially in math, science or technology.
“We keep hearing from Congress that there are too many pots on their stove, that they’ve got too much going on with Syria and other issues,” said Ed Moore, president of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida.
“That’s nonsense. Immigration reform has been there for a long time. They need to get aggressive about it to fix these serious problems now.”
Also joining the call was Anthony James Catanese, president of the Florida Institute of Technology, and William Abare Jr., president of Flagler College.
Source: Education News