Politics this week
By Matt Mitterhoff ‘16
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 15:02
A bipartisan group of Senators, led by John McCain (R-AZ) and Chuck Shumer (D-NY), unveiled a new plan January 28 to deal with the rising numbers of immigrants coming into the United States. The plan calls for education reform for immigrants and is heavily backed by President Obama.
The bill requires an overhaul for illegal immigrant education and makes graduate education for green-card possessing immigrants a top priority. According to the plan, if someone with a student visa graduates with a degree in a STEM field, they will be granted a green card, allowing them to work in the United States.
“If you’re a foreign student who wants to pursue a career in science or technology,” President Obama said, “you’ll create American businesses. And American jobs. You’ll help us grow our economy, you’ll help us strengthen our middle class.”
This can kill two birds with one stone, advancing American technology and repairing the middle class.
What does this have to do with Lafayette students? According to the admissions office, applicants for the Class of 2017 came from 94 countries, and 20 percent of the applicant pool was composed of international students.
An increase in international applicants may signal a changing corporate and professional world. According to a recent New York Times article, “The college degree is becoming the new high school diploma: the new minimum requirement, albeit an expensive one, for getting even the lowest-level job.” International rags-to-riches stories are decreasing as more companies seek higher qualified applicants.
College may be the new Ellis Island: a gateway into the United States. Instead of hitting the streets of New York to find the American Dream, international students are hitting the books, seeking careers with corporate and technological leaders.
If the bill passes, it will give an incentive to international students to stay in the country and join the work force.