Historically, the United States has been considered a refuge for those seeking a better life. Since the first European colonists arrived in the late 16th century, immigrants have sought a fresh start for centuries in America, the “land of opportunity”. So it should stand to reason that Americans would feel empathy for their fellow emigrants, yes? In fact, Americans’ view on immigration policies might be summed up as, like the Facebook status: “It’s complicated.”
Much of this complexity stems from the varying circumstances of foreign-born people. The issue of undocumented immigration is politically charged and widely covered in the media, but they aren’t the only ones affected by U.S. immigration policy. For example, foreign-born prospective students and workers who entered the U.S. legally have also been impacted. Walter A. Ewing, a senior researcher at the Immigration Policy Center, believes current U.S. immigration policies around nonimmigrant foreign students and high-tech workers undermine America’s economy. Many of these students and workers were educated at U.S. universities, but are forced to leave the country when their temporary student or work visas expire. They take their potentially valuable contributions to the U.S. economy with them.
This infographic examines immigration trends in the U.S., the impact of nonimmigrant foreign-born students on the U.S. economy, and what current government initiatives such as the DREAM Act are doing to help foreign-born (especially tech-savvy) students stay in the U.S.
For a complete list of sources, please view the infographic.