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News Clips 02/01/2013
FL university presidents join immigration debate
Source: WZVN-TV-Ch.7-Ft. Myers, 01/31/13
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By Matt Wright
Florida university presidents have joined the debate on immigration. Some are pushing for reform so knowledge doesn't leave this country when international students do.
Cynthia Rubio came to the U.S. from Mexico at age 11. She's now a student at FGCU and says she plans to get her citizenship after graduate school.
"To be educated in the U.S. means a great opportunity - a better opportunity of accomplishing so many things you dreamed of when you were little," she said.
Rubio is among the people who could benefit from immigration reforms – reforms now supported by the presidents of some of Florida's biggest universities.
They announced support for a plan to allow immigrant students to stay and work in the U.S. after graduation. They also want it to be easier for illegal immigrants to attend college.
"We do not want to abandon the people that are already here," said Donna Shalala, President of the University of Miami.
It's an effort to reduce the number of foreign students who come to the U.S. for higher education then return home - taking those newly acquired skills with them.
"Their economies are befitting as a result of that," said Dr. Jeffrey Allbritten, President of Edison State University.
He says there's value in keeping international students in the U.S.
"I'd like to see a lot of that investment in science and technology remain in the country," Allbritten said.
In STEM subjects like science, technology, engineering, math, there aren't enough graduates to fill job openings - allowing immigrant students to stay in the U.S. could help.
"Why should we waste and throw away the talent at our universities and colleges and not allow them the opportunity to stay if they so wish?" asked Eduardo Padron, President of Miami-Dade College.
So immigrants like Rubio can stay in a place they've come to love.
"It would be great to have more people that would stay to help the community," she said.