LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Immigration bill is right step for international students

Friday, June 21, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:06 p.m. CDT, Friday, June 21, 2013

As chancellor of MU, I’ve seen first-hand how immigrants enrich our nation, beginning with all four of my wife Anne’s grandparents, who were poor but hardworking immigrants from Italy. In my academic career, I have come to deeply admire the many ways in which our campus community is enriched by immigrant students, faculty and staff who work hard, shine in the classroom, and do groundbreaking research that benefits us all.

MU takes pride in the diversity of immigrant students and faculty as we help train the world’s top minds in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and in the creative and performing arts. But because of our country’s antiquated immigration system, and after we have invested resources in these individuals, many are sent abroad to compete against us.

The United States needs an immigration policy that will help ensure our international graduates have a clear path to a green card so they can stay and create new American jobs. The comprehensive immigration reform bill (S. 744) represents a unique opportunity to accomplish this. I hope fellow citizens will join me in urging Missouri Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill to support it.

Brady Deaton is chancellor at MU.

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