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By Tawanda Johnson
APS members have been meeting with congressional staffers in seven states to urge Congress to allow F-1 student visa applicants to express “dual intent,”—enabling international students to apply for permanent legal status in the U.S. while they are students (see APS News, October 2018).
About 10 APS members have attended meetings in Alaska, New Hampshire, Illinois, Kansas, Vermont, New York, and West Virginia.
“The meetings have been going really well in the states, and APS leadership has been having meetings with congressional staffers in Washington, DC to reinforce the strategy on the federal level,” said Greg Mack, grassroots advocacy manager in the APS Office of Government Affairs (OGA). APS OGA provided the APS member volunteers with information, materials, and coaching, and arranged the meetings with the congressional offices in the states. This in-state approach allows for more constituents to be able to tell their compelling personal stories to the offices.
Historically, the United States has had an unrivaled ability to attract the best and brightest students from around the world. Complementing the nation’s home-grown STEM talent, international students help provide the US innovation ecosystem with the next generation of scientists and engineers necessary for America to remain a global leader. But the 21st-century landscape is changing—international applications and enrollments to US-based STEM programs are declining. The National Science Board’s Science and Engineering Indicators 2018 showed a 6% decline from 2016 to 2017 in the total number of international graduate students at US institutions across all STEM fields.
Read more about the F-1 visa issue at the International Student Applications page.
The author is APS Press Secretary.
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