Leaders in Higher Education Call for Immigration Reform
As the immigration reform debate endures in the House of Representatives, leaders in higher education are continuing their call for improvements to the nation’s immigration system.
Most recently, presidents of 28 Catholic and Jesuit colleges and universities united in a fast for immigration reform on Ash Wednesday (March 5, 2014). In doing so, they joined the “Fast for Families” movement, which reignited the immigration debate last fall when the movement’s leaders, supported by many members of Congress and The President, fasted for twenty-two days on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Students have not been far behind in the campaign to reform the nation’s immigration system. In February, one hundred and fifty students from nine Catholic colleges and Universities held a Student Summit on Immigration Reform.
These are just a few of the continuing calls made by members of the higher education community for Congress to pass immigration reform. In late 2013, leaders of more than one hundred colleges and universities across the United States wrote to their Congressional representatives to support the overhaul of the immigration system.
In many ways, our nation’s colleges and universities are on the front lines of our broken immigration system. Roughly a third of their graduate students in STEM fields are foreign nationals – in some states it is well over half. Leaders in higher education see how often our immigration policies prevent the nation from retaining and capitalizing on these talented individuals and create obstacles to growth.
The higher education community is hopeful that its continuing efforts will prompt the Congressional leadership to renew its efforts to pass meaningful immigration reform.