inSPIRE STEM USA’s Letter to Gang of Eight Senators on Immigration Reform
On April 9, 2013, members of inSPIRE STEM USA sent the following letter to the Gang of Eight U.S. senators responsible for drafting new immigration reform legislation:
inSPIRE STEM USA applauds the Senate’s bipartisan leadership as it seeks to improve our nation’s challenged immigration system.
As you and your colleagues pen this significant legislation, our coalition—comprised of advocacy groups, educational organizations, and business leaders—encourages you to integrate the STEM fund concept outlined in the Immigration Innovation Act of 2013 (I-Squared) into the comprehensive bill. The STEM fund should be part of the solution to solving our nation’s STEM education deficiencies.
Unfortunately, our country is not producing enough workers to fulfill the ever-growing talent needs of our most innovative companies. One recent study predicted that between 2010 and 2020 the American economy will annually produce more than 120,000 additional computing jobs that will require at least a bachelor’s degree, but the country’s higher education system is currently producing only 40,000 bachelor’s degrees in computer science annually. This example underscores the need for action to resolve this shortage in qualified candidates for well-paid, high skill jobs in every sector of the economy.
We can confront our nation’s shortcomings in STEM fields through an education fund that is designed to better prepare our students from kindergarten to post-graduate levels for the tech workforce. The STEM fund will be used to improve educational outcomes through strategic investments in students and teachers. When we have fully trained American workers in computer science, programming, and engineering, companies will have a greater domestic talent pool from which to fill highly skilled positions. This talent pool is integral to successfully developing the next generation of American leaders and innovators.
We thank you for your commitment to the American immigration system and again we recommend that you include the STEM fund in the legislation.
The undersigned members of inSPIRE STEM USA:
Campaign for Environmental Literacy
The Center for Asian Pacific American Women
Computing in the Core
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
The New England Council
US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce