BETHESDA, MD, MAY 2, 2013—Progress in American scientific research and reform in American immigration law must go hand in hand, the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) declared today in a position paper that outlines four recommendations for modernizing U.S. immigration policy.
"Despite having the best research and educational institutions in the world, existing US immigration laws serve as a significant hurdle for retaining the world's most promising scientists and for diversifying the US biomedical workforce and bioeconomy," the ASCB warned in a preface to its four proposals.
"Science is essentially a global enterprise, and it was so long before globalization permeated so many sectors of human activity," said ASCB Executive Director Stefano Bertuzzi. "It is very important that we facilitate the circulation of brains and ideas to and from the United States. It is certainly not in our own interest to train the best and the brightest and then force them to leave, it is innovation and innovative minds that will get us out of the economic hole."
"The increasing globalization of science makes it even more critical that the United States pay close attention to the health of our domestic scientific enterprise," said Connie Lee, Co-Chair of the ASCB Public Policy Committee which drafted the position paper. "American science has blossomed in no small part because so much of the world's top talent has been attracted here by our resources, our skill, and our freedom of inquiry. Our future requires that we keep our laboratories, our universities, and our minds open to the best the world has to offer. To do that, we urgently need to reform our obsolete and counterproductive policies on scientific immigration and travel."
The full text with charts of the ASCB position paper on US immigration reform is available at: URL
Director of Public Policy
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