More than 100 university presidents have signed a letter urging the Obama administration and Congress to compromise on a solution that would grant top foreign-born students a pathway to remain in the U.S. after graduation, a proposal that they say has bipartisan support among voters.
The letter was sent in conjunction with a new report finding that foreign-born inventors were involved with 76 percent of patents awarded to the top 10 American research universities.
The efforts were announced Tuesday by the Partnership for a New American Economy, an immigration-reform group cochaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and whose membership includes hundreds of mayors and business leaders. The partnership supports immigration reform as a means to create American jobs and boost economic growth.
The report analyzed data from the top 10 patent-producing research universities for 2011, including Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It found that more than half of the 1,466 patents awarded to these universities came from foreign-born students, postdoctoral fellows, and research staff, the cohort most likely to face difficulties obtaining legal status after graduation.