Bridging the immigration divide: Forging a bipartisan policy on visas for STEM graduates
The “brain drain” caused by current immigration laws discourages foreign students who’ve obtained a degree in the United States from remaining here to pursue employment or entrepreneurial opportunities, and in the process enhance U.S. growth and competitiveness. Finding common ground on immigration reform is a challenge in today’s polarized political atmosphere, and the need for deliberate, collegial debate and discussion is acute.
On March 26, the Dreier Roundtable (DRt) and the Brookings Institution hosted DRt’s inaugural Washington, DC, conference, focusing on how to retain foreign graduates of U.S. universities in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Brookings and DRt scholars presented ideas for reform and work to find common ground on updating U.S. visa laws to prevent losing talented graduates in areas vital to the American economy. This conference reflected DRt’s core values of bipartisan engagement on vital public policy issues in an atmosphere of mutual interest and respect.
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About the Roundtable
The Dreier Roundtable (DRt) is a new, innovative, multidisciplinary program at Claremont McKenna College. DRt convenes leaders in politics, business, journalism, academia, and policymaking for constructive, substantive discussion of issues that affect the future prosperity of the United States and the world. DRt is inspired by the career of David Dreier, longtime chairman of the House Rules Committee, trustee and alumnus of the College, and a distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institution. DRt continues Chairman Dreier’s commitment to engaged, civil discourse that bridges partisan and ideological divides and seeks creative solutions to difficult policy questions. DRt advances CMC’s distinctive mission to foster leadership in business, government, and the professions, while contributing to the intellectual vitality and understanding of public policy issues.
President - Claremont McKenna College
Director of Immigration Law and Policy Research - Economic Policy Institute
Executive Director, Immigration Policy - U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Senior Policy Analyst and Associate Fellow - The Brookings Institution
I think it's unusual for the chief of staff to go on a trip, particularly on a trip this long. The chief of staff is usually more of a chief operating officer in the White House itself, and normally when your principal—whether it's the president himself or the head of Cabinet agency—goes abroad, you have his deputy and those folks staying behind to help manage operations in his absence.