Eli Capilouto

Immigration Reform Reflects the American Dream

Published: Apr 19, 2013

Last year, I had the opportunity to travel to China with a delegation from the University of Kentucky to advance several partnerships growing between UK's colleges and departments and universities and industries in a country growing in economic importance.

 

One such partnership is between UK's Center for Applied Energy Research and the world's largest power company. During a meeting with industry representatives, we shared our exciting work in the development of clean coal technology and discussed partnerships, the exchange of students, and faculty collaboration as part of the US-China Clean Energy Research Center.

 

As we met, they described several multi-billion dollar research and development investments in their country’s energy sector. In comparison, the proposed Department of Energy’s FY2014 budget for fossil energy R&D was just over $420 million, reflecting an approximate reduction of $82 million over last year.

 

That stark reality underscores the competitive environment our country's students face today and in the coming years as our economy continues to be transformed by global forces.

 

We can't avoid it, nor should we try.

 

The changing landscape, in fact, demands more of the United States in educating and preparing a well-educated work force -- one outfitted with the skills necessary to compete and succeed in a global, multinational, multifaceted economy.

 

We can no longer afford to focus only locally, we must broaden our scope. But we can make changes here at home that will help ensure our competitiveness, particularly in science and technology where advances are occurring rapidly in ways that are shaping our economy in profound ways.

 

Last month, I joined the presidents of Cornell University, Arizona State University, and Miami-Dade College in a letter calling on colleges and universities across the country to voice support for a sensible solution for the United States' broken immigration policy.

 

On April 19th, some 75 institutions nationwide joined together on National Immigration Reform Day -- we are at the juncture of this important national dialogue. Universities are responsible for educating the workforce that creates jobs and fills employment ranks; and our graduate students, faculty and staff reach transformative breakthroughs, write patents and invent new technologies that fuel our economy.

 

In many ways, the existing, outmoded immigration policies – written nearly a half-century ago – are hindering us in each of these endeavors.

 

Consider that a quarter of the Americans who have won a Nobel Prize have been immigrants, and – in 2011 – more than three quarters of the patents received by the top-10 US patent-producing universities listed an immigrant inventor. Their innovations yield impressive economic growth for the United States; between 1990 and 2000 these discoveries have contributed to growing U.S. GDP by 2.4 percent, as reported by the Bureau of Economic Research.

 

In an economic context, 40 percent of all Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.

 

While on our campus, international students bring a cultural richness to the university community; adding global perspectives to classroom discussions and conversations in our residence halls before they graduate. At the same time, international students and families had a net impact on the U.S. and Kentucky economies of some $21 billion and $137 million, respectively, in 2011-12, according to the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors.

 

The data tell a compelling story – one that parallels with an American Dream that inspired generations of immigrant entrepreneurs who traveled to the United States in pursuit of a better life.

 

Yet, in an increasingly interdependent world – we are making it difficult for immigrants to chart a promising path through education and, ultimately, employment in the United States.

 

Our workforce needs, especially in STEM education, are growing, and at the current rate of production, we will fall short of the necessary targets to accelerate and sustain economic growth. Roughly half of post-baccalaureate degrees awarded in STEM disciplines are to foreign-born students, but we lack the common-sense immigration policies to keep these graduates in the United States.

 

In short, we are preparing the brightest minds to lead the new global economy and then watch as they return to another country hungry for their entrepreneurial spirit – we’re competing against the students we educate.

 

As a nation of immigrants, we have an opportunity to seize our heritage and find an alternative method for engaging a vibrant part of our global community in our future. By choosing a path to sensible immigration reform, not only can we help Kentucky become more competitive nationally, but we can contribute to the overall global prosperity of the United States.

 

###

 

Unless otherwise cited, data included in this article was provided by the Partnership for a New American Economy’s National Immigration Forum.

April
 
 
1
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
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UK Baseball vs. Louisville
Kentucky Children's Garden Spring Break Special!
Pinterest Party #2
Tue
2
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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LNFS presents Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Men's Tennis vs. Illinois
UK Softball vs. Louisville
UK Men's Tennis vs. Northern Kentucky
Kentucky Children's Garden Spring Break Special!
Student Health Advisory Council Meeting
Best Practices for Tree Planting and Establishment Class 2
Selecting the Right Tree for Your Landscape Class 1
#TrendingTopics: It's Not Easy Being Green
Wed
3
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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UK Toastmasters
Kentucky Children's Garden Spring Break Special!
Thu
4
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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UK Softball vs. Texas A&M
UK Baseball vs. Florida
Kentucky Children's Garden Spring Break Special!
Creoles Topopholia
Religion & Politics in Anxious States
Exploring, Remixing, Analyzing: Teaching History with Digital Media
Cormac O'Grada - "The Nature of Famines"
"The Nature of Famines," Committee on Social Theory Public Lecture
Building a Rain Garden: Collaborative Effort with UK
Fri
5
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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UK Baseball vs. Florida
UK Softball vs. Texas A&M
Bluegrass Bazaar
Sat
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UK Baseball vs. Florida
UK Softball vs. Texas A&M
Ride the Legacy
UK Men's Tennis vs. Vanderbilt
Sun
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Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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Boxes & Walls: Oppression through History
Mon
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Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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Explore Leadership Workshops
Boxes & Walls: Oppression through History
Job Club: Research Your Target Organization Before the Interview: What to Know and How to Find Out
#UK Kicks Butts Day
UK Softball vs. Wright State
Dine. Discover. Decide.: Connecting students to alumni in 3D!
Earth Days in the Bluegrass and the Late Night Film Series Present: Gasland Part II, A Bike-In Movie
UK Baseball vs. Morehead State
Student Sustainability Council Meeting
Tue
9
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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LNFS presents Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
UK Men's Tennis vs. Ohio State
Boxes & Walls: Oppression through History
Wellness On Wheels
Get Your DIY On! Fix-It Station Demonstrations
Overview of Nursing Home Care
Spring (Bike) Fever Twitter Chat
UK Softball vs. Mississippi Valley
Best Practices for Tree Planting and Establishment Class 2
UK Men's Tennis vs. Morehead State
Wed
10
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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LNFS presents American Hustle
UK Toastmasters
Bike-Through Resource Fair
Undergraduate Research Group Advising Session: April General
Presentation by Ladino Rockstar, Sarah Aroeste
Mountain Biking for Beginners Clinic
LNFS presents The Mexican Suitcase
Mr. PharmD
Performance by Ladino Rockstar, Sara Aroeste
Thu
11
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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Last Day to Drop a Spring 2014 Course
LNFS presents Boogie Nights
Car-Free Day
What Are They? Some Hidden Forms of the Copula in Old Irish
UK Men's Tennis vs. South Carolina
UK Baseball vs. Missouri
LNFS presents Loose Cannons
Fri
12
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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UK Baseball vs. Missouri
UK Men's Golf Bluegrass Invitational
Arboretum Volunteer Training and Orientation
Taste of Africa
Dramatic Presentation -"Las Voces de los Apalaches"
Swing Dancing!
Sat
13
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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UK Baseball vs. Missouri
UK Men's Golf Bluegrass Invitational
UK Men's Tennis vs. Florida
UK Men's Tennis vs. Murray State
Sun
14
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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Therapeutic Chair Massage
Mon
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Superheroes On and Off the Page
Parenting Connection Group
Farmer's MarCat & Craft Fair
Student-Teacher-Student Exhibit
Tue
16
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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LNFS presents Blue Velvet
Inequality in the US: Consequences
Reframing Stress: Do You Know Your Choices?
Best Practices for Tree and Shrub Pruning Class 3
Cooking Class: For True Beginners
Pinterest Party #3
Wed
17
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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LNFS presents Anchorman 2
UK Toastmasters
Virtual Dementia Tour
Children at Risk Research Conference Keynote Address: Gender, Sexuality, & Risks for Violence among Young Women and LGBTQ Youth in Urban Communities
OUTspoken: Leaving the Second Closet Behind
LNFS presents Easy Rider
Thu
18
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Children at Risk Graduate Student Research Poster Presenatation
20th Annual Black Women's Conference
Children at Risk Research Conference Speaker: Why Do Home and Neighborhood Issues Become School Safety Nightmares?
The Re-enchantment of Photography as a Primanry Geographic Mapping Medium
The Re-enchantment of Photography as a Primanry Geographic Mapping Medium
UK Softball vs. Arkansas
Fri
19
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20th Annual Black Women's Conference
UK Softball vs. Arkansas
UK Track and Field Home meet
Unleash the Beast: Paintball Wars
Sat
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Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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Sun
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Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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Distinguished Industry Lecture Series, H. Graham Motion and Bruce “Buck” Davidson, Jr.
Mon
22
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Explore Leadership Workshops
Job Club: Tighten Your Budget after a Job Loss
‘Project Learning Tree’ Workshop for Educators
Drug War Talk by Anthropologist Howard Campbell
Student Sustainability Council Meeting
Tue
23
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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LNFS presents The Lego Movie
Registration Deadline: Weight Loss Matters
Legacy Week: Ping Pong Ball Drop
Health Smart: Mindfulness
Pre-Pharmacy Club Meeting
IPM (Integrated Pest Management) and Tree Healthcare Class 4
Shuffle Series: Bluegrass
Wed
24
Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
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LNFS presents The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
UK Toastmasters
Wellness On Wheels
LNFS presents Juno
Perelman’s Dissociations: Double Fidélité, Fighting the Nazis, and the New Rhetoric Project’s Canon of Invention – Annual Hymson Lecture
Legacy Week: Candlelight Ceremony
Thu
25
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Exhibit: Fauna of Mexico
LNFS presents The Brave Little Toaster
Bonfires of Illusions: the Twin Crises of the Liberal World
Arbor Day Volunteer Orientation and Training
Alex Callinicos - "Bonfires of Illusions: The Twin Crises of the Liberal World
LNFS presents Pariah
UK Theatre presents "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
Color Me Spring Fashion Show
Fri
26
EPIC Ministry Weekly Gathering
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Legacy Week: Leave Your Legacy
Arbor Day at The Arboretum
UK Theatre presents "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
Sat
27
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UK Theatre presents "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
UK Wind Symphony Concert
UK Symphony & Concert Band Concert
Museum Madness
Sun
28
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Mon
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Politics in Mexico Today
Tue
30
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Relieving Stress Through Your Senses
Tree Identification Class 5
Massage on the Go #3
The Practicing Happiness Workbook - author presentation
Wed
 
 
 
Apr 23
LNFS presents The Lego Movie 04/23/2014

Repeats every 7 days until Fri May 09 2014 .
Thu, 04/24/2014

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