Photo: University of Miami
Leadership from eighteen Florida universities are urging Congress to take up immigration reform, where legislation has basically stalled out. The group sent a letter to their state legislation in Congress urging action. An estimated 825,000 undocumented immigrants call Florida home.
Click here to read the full text of the letter.
University leaders are concerned that high-killed foreign students are being forced to leave the country instead of being able to contribute to it. According to the letter in 2009, “53 percent of the students earning Master’s or PhDs in STEM fields from Florida’s research-intensive universities were temporary residents, a group with no clear path to stay in America after graduation. More than 60 percent of our students earning engineering PhDs in recent years were also non- citizens.”
Some of the Florida universities calling for comprehensive immigration reform include the University of Miami, University of Southern Florida Flagler College and Florida Institute of Technology, amongst others.
The Senate bipartisan immigration reform bill would increase the number of visas for high-skilled students.
Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is now President of University of Miami said, “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.” “They really are the bread-winners of the future and the young people we want to invest in.”