The North Carolina school system is renowned for being able to attract some of the world’s top talent to our research programs, bringing the best students from all over the globe to come and participate in our higher degree programs and conduct research in our laboratories.
As a graduate student at UNC I get the opportunities to work alongside such students, who often fall in love with our country and look to stay after their programs end, adding the skills our schools have taught them to our economy, raising wages and spurring innovation.
That attraction is our country’s competitive advantage, and what will keep us ahead in the world economy. Unfortunately, we’re not capitalizing on our advantage. The H-1B visa system through which these high-skilled workers (who already have bachelor’s degrees or greater) apply is extremely outdated, resulting in a vast number of talented individuals getting shut out altogether.
It is time that Congress fix the H-1B system by raising the yearly visa cap and taking steps to protect the program from abuses from large multi-national firms. Our country was founded by the most daring and entrepreneurial of immigrants, and we must continue to embrace that heritage.