Guest blog post by Alyssa Dack.
A few weeks ago, Duke University participated in the iMarch for Innovation, a call from across the tech, government, and higher education sectors for the Senate to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The virtual march brought out supporters from North Carolina to Idaho to California and connected individuals from the Republican, Democratic Parties – and even some Independents – to demonstrate the importance of immigration reform to our economy, our universities, and — as the name implies — our nation’s ability to remain on the frontline of innovation.
Today (ICYMI) @DukeFedRel hosted a Twitter Town Hall to talk more about how immigration impacts the students and faculty at Duke University. Here’s a recap:
Right now, international students who come to study at Duke don’t have a choice of staying in the country after finishing their degree. Their visas automatically expire, meaning they have to return to the home countries. The “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill has a provision that would give graduates in many disciplines a choice to stay in America and contribute to our economy. According to studies by the Center for American Progress, immigration reform would help create 1.4 million jobs and add $329 billion dollars to the economy by 2030.
As Dick Brodhead said in a statement last June, ““Each year, bright, talented students from around the world come to Duke to pursue graduate degrees. Along with their academic training, they absorb an American approach to thinking, problem-solving, and innovating, and they graduate with skills that can lead directly to new companies and jobs for our country. It’s in our national interest to keep them here.”
The Gang of Eight bill also includes the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which offers a path to permanent residency for those individuals brought to the country illegally as children.
A recent study, conducted by Jiali Luo and David Jamieson-Drake, the assistant director and director of Duke’s institutional research office found that Americans who engaged with international students while on campus are more likely in later life to appreciate art and literature, place current problems in historical perspective and read or speak a foreign language. They also are more likely to reexamine their political and religious viewpoints and their beliefs about other races or ethnicities, according to the research. These findings apply to U.S. students who actively interacted with international students in classes, dorms or elsewhere, as opposed to just sharing the campus with them.
We were pleased to join the iMarch for Innovation in highlighting the support for immigration reform across North Carolina. Thanks to those who joined in the conversation, sent us questions, retweeted our remarks and helped us get the word out: don’t miss this chance! Duke University urges the Senate to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Find out more at: www.marchforinnovation.com