Urge Congress to Keep STEM Talent in the US!

To encourage the best and brightest international students to apply to U.S.-based STEM graduate programs, Senators should support the “Keep STEM Talent Act of 2019.”

phone2action Visa and Immigration image

International students are a key component of our scientific ecosystem and are essential to creating tomorrow’s US STEM workforce. Under current law, international students pursuing advanced STEM degrees in the US can be denied student visas if they indicate an intention to stay and work in the US after they graduate. Furthermore, these graduates can face difficulties in obtaining green cards and end up stuck on temporary work visas for years.

To address this issue and reverse the downward trend of international applications and enrollments that has emerged recently, appropriate federal policies should be implemented. A 2020 APS survey indicates that making the F-1 visa “dual intent” and providing a clear path to a green card for international students who earn advanced STEM degrees from US institutions will help restore the US as a competitive destination-of-choice for the world’s top students.

The “Keep STEM Talent Act of 2019” would encourage these students to enroll in US STEM programs and help ensure that talented, US-educated international students have the opportunity to stay and contribute to our country.

The Impact of Personalized Emails

Although personalizing your email with your own experiences and anecdotes may take a few extra minutes, research shows that it is well worth the time. According to a Congressional Management Foundation survey, individualized emails are the second most effective method overall for positively influencing a member’s decision on an issue. Individualized email messages are also 64% more effective than form email messages.

Furthermore, 83% of congressional staff surveyed said that it would take more than 50 form emails for them to consider taking the action requested. On the other hand, 70% of staff said that it would take less than 50 personalized emails for them to consider taking action. We encourage you to personalize your emails to Congressional members in order to maximize the impact of your voice.

If your Congress member has not already arrived at a firm decision on an issue, which of the following advocacy strategies might have a positive influence on his/her decision?

How many emails are needed before you consider taking the requested action?

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