Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

  • Imagine you are sipping tea or coffee while discussing various issues with a broad and diverse network of students, colleagues, and friends brought together by the common bond of physics, graduate school, and the physics GRE.

Should foreign physics students be allowed to work in the U.S. after they graduate?

Yes, give them a green card upon graduation
14
61%
Yes, give them a green card after finding a job and paying a huge fee
3
13%
Yes, but let them work for 29 months instead of the current 12 months
1
4%
The current situation (12 months of optional practical training, then go home) is okay
2
9%
No, they shouldn't be allowed to work at all except as TAs and RAs, and strictly during their degree.
0
No votes
Why are we even giving these foreigners stipends and RA/TAships?
3
13%
 
Total votes: 23

vicente
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Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby vicente » Sun Nov 18, 2007 8:30 pm

If you vote, please state whether you are a.) a U.S. citizen b.) a permanent resident (Green card), or c.) a non-U.S. person

Pros:
- If you don't allow them to stay and work, all that education and stipend money is wasted when the student is forced to return to their home country to work. The graduate got a free education from the U.S. and is now helping her or his own country, and not yours.

Cons:
- You'll be competing with them for post-doc and teaching positions. Those jobs could have been occupied by Americans!

----
Some background:
The current situation allows students to work only on campus, as well as work that is necessary for obtaining the degree (curricular practical training). The student also has up to 12 months they can use to work in their field at any employer. This period can be used during or after the degree. (Optional Practical Training). Afterwards, they have to go home unless they successuflly apply for expensive and hard-to-get H1-B work visas.

The big immigration hulabaloo in the summer was mainly focused on illegal immigrants, but it contained a provision that gave science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students a special advantage over other foreign students: If it had passed, they would be allowed to stay in the U.S. permanently if they found a job within 12 months and paid $1000 to Homeland Security. (F-4 visa)

This bill obviously failed as Democrats and Republicans couldn't agree on how to deal with illegal immigrants. But some senators have recently lobbied Homeland Security to allow foreign students to work 29 months instead of the current 12 months in optional practical training. This would make it more likely for them to be able to obtain an H1-B work visa, since there is a limited quota every year.
Last edited by vicente on Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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grae313
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Postby grae313 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:09 pm

I'd vote, but I really don't know squat about the topic, even after your summary :? :) I'm always hesitant to form uninformed opinions...

vicente
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Postby vicente » Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:48 pm

Think about it from a U.S. citizen's perspective, and from an international student's perspective. The international student wants to stay in the U.S. and contribute to their economy, but yet still feels attached to their home country. The American wants to keep their physics departments as talented as possible but on the other hand doesn't want all their jobs going to foreigners.

It's all a balancing act: how many rights are you willing to give to talented non-Americans.

The truth is that the majority of Americans don't think about immigration issues beyond what they hear on the news (e.g. Lou Dobbs). The fact is, it's currently easier to illegally immigrate to the U.S. than to legally immigrate.

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twistor
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Postby twistor » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:23 am

I have no problem with legal immigration. I don't really even have that big of a problem with illegal immigration, per se.

My problem is this:

American students are products of the American school system. We were born here, went through at least 12 years of schooling here, and have a vested interest in our community and country. We don't want to give all our jobs to the best foreigners even if they are the best.

What are we supposed to do if there are job openings for physicists in China because all the best Chinese physicists are in America? Who's willing to move to China to get a job?

I'm not saying we shouldn't have any foreigners. The US is a country of immigrants. What I'm saying is that when you have departments that consist of 50% international students something is very wrong. I know I wouldn't want my children to miss out on opportunities because some university thought there wasn't enough "diversity" in the department.

I don't want to give the impression that I'm some kind of racist. I'm saying we need to limit percentage of international students in our programs. How we expect Americans to be on the forefront of research in the next century if we refuse to educate our own children?

calphys
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Postby calphys » Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:42 pm

I'm a domestic student, and I voted for letting foreigners work after graduation. I actually think that working in the US for some set term should be a stipulation on letting foreigners get federal funding to go to US schools. This way, it makes sure that all that money the taxpayers are spending to educate these people will make its way back into the economy.

As for teaching positions, I think domestic students won't really have to compete for those. If you were hiring a lecturer, and you had two candidates with similar academic performance records, wouldn't you choose the native English speaker?

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will
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Postby will » Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:26 pm

If I was hiring a lecturer, no question. If I wanted to hire an associate professor, though, things get a little more tricky. No one gets their Ph.D. because they want to be a lecturer.

calphys
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Postby calphys » Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:10 pm

As for the professor bit, the more competition there is for the jobs, the higher the quality of the resultant professors.

And as for the lecturers, all the lecturers at my school have PhD's. Whether they're doing what they wanted to when they got them is another question, but I'm pretty sure just about anyone who teaches at the university level has to have a PhD.

vicente
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Postby vicente » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:45 pm

Yeah but what percentage of classes are taught by lecturers?

I've never had a physics course at my school taught by a lecturer, they've always been professors, many of whom have terrible English. Despite that, the department refuses to let lecturers teach in their place.

If you let international students stay and work, there's a possibility that the tenureship you were applying for, funded by U.S. taxpayers, would be taken by someone from India or China who cares more about their own success and the success of their "motherland" than that of America.

If all Ph.D. jobs in the U.S. were purely meritocracies with no regard for citizenship and quality of English, then most of them would be taken by foreigners. Not that Americans are stupid, but there are so many foreigners applying to the U.S. that statistically it wouldn't make sense to hire an American unless they were spectacular.

calphys
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Postby calphys » Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:16 am

@ vicente:

can you honestly say that you don't care more about your own success than that of your "motherland"?

I don't see how that affects the work you would do. The whole point is that if the foreigners work here instead of their home countries, then the US benefits from their education, and not their home countries.

Also, you're assuming that the number of jobs will somehow be static, even though there will be more highly educated people building and inventing things and making things more efficient and starting companies and what not working in america. (Not all PhD's are in physics)

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will
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Postby will » Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:52 am

I've had foreign professors who, while maybe not the best english speakers, were really passionate about physics, extremely helpful, and always working hard to make sure undergrads were getting a quality education... But also foreign professors who hole themselves up in their offices and only talk to grad students from their home country.

Now, I wouldn't be surprised to meet an American professor who dislikes working with foreign students, but I'd definitely say they got into the wrong field.

vicente
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Postby vicente » Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:33 am

I am not going to state my personal opinion, since I am not a U.S. citizen any information I post can be used against me when I apply for temporary student immigration status or in the future if I apply for a temporary work permit.

You bring up valid points, I am only giving out viewpoints (not necessarily mine) so that people can make their own.

Geoff Olynyk
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby Geoff Olynyk » Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:41 pm

For background: I am a Canadian who has applied to some American schools for September 2008. Now, with that said, it has been my experience that potential physics grad students care far more about the success of their research or their field than of their "motherland" or any other country.

Sure, people care about where they came from and feel an attachment to it but at least for Canadians, it doesn't seem to be a matter of "I'm going to go use the American graduate school system for the betterment of Canada!" It is rather more like "Wow, they're doing some awesome stuff at <American school> which exceeds the budget of <comparable Canadian school>, I'm going to try to go work there."

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zxcv
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby zxcv » Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:19 pm

I'm in favor of almost no restrictions on immigration, so I voted the first option. In particular, I don't think it's right for people to live in a country for potentially years and still not be citizens. Even student visas are too restrictive.

For instance, I have a friend (Canadian citizen) who immigrated to the US when he was 10 or so though his family is originally from China so they don't have many ties in Canada. First he was legal here as a dependent of his mother, then he got a student visa to go to Yale, now he's graduating and still doesn't have permanent rights to live in this country. He is mostly unable to work jobs on the side to help pay for his education because of his visa. It's not like he'll have trouble getting a work-visa from a job but the whole thing is still ridiculous.

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twistor
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby twistor » Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:59 pm

You can become a citizen by taking a test. I don't see what the problem is.

"Applicants for citizenship are asked ten questions, and must answer at least six correctly."

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zxcv
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby zxcv » Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:31 pm

twistor wrote:You can become a citizen by taking a test. I don't see what the problem is.

"Applicants for citizenship are asked ten questions, and must answer at least six correctly."
The test isn't the problem: they don't let just anybody who wants to take the test.

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twistor
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby twistor » Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:06 pm

twistor wrote:You can become a citizen by taking a test. I don't see what the problem is.

"Applicants for citizenship are asked ten questions, and must answer at least six correctly."
zxcv wrote:The test isn't the problem: they don't let just anybody who wants to take the test.


I've never heard anyone on this forum complain about not being able to take the test. I've never ever heard anyone say that they've even tried.

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zxcv
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby zxcv » Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:41 pm

twistor wrote:I've never heard anyone on this forum complain about not being able to take the test. I've never ever heard anyone say that they've even tried.
To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how immigration procedures work. But I know the test is rarely the hard part about getting citizenship. You can see the questions online. My friend, for instance, was part of the constitution team at my high school and knows his civics plenty well for 5th grade level test like that.

Of course, the test has a few ridiculous questions ("Who helped the Pilgrims in America?") but most are really easy.
Last edited by zxcv on Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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twistor
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby twistor » Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:59 pm

Of course, the test has a few ridiculous questions ("Who helped the Pilgrims in America?") but most are really easy.


Uhm... the same people who helped all the Canadians (formerly the French) hawk their furs around the New World...

On a related note: until I saw the Canadian citizenship test I had no idea that Canadians had to pledge alliegence to the queen of England.

vicente
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby vicente » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:48 pm

Immigrating to the U.S. is NOT as simple as writing a test.

This is how U.S. immigration works:

There are five paths to getting permanent residence:
1.) Have someone in your immediate family who is a citizens (several years backlog)
2.) Marry an American (quick, you only have to wait for processing and prove that your marriage is real)
3.) File a successful refugee claim
4.) Win the "Diversity Lottery" available to countries who send very few immigrants to the U.S. per year.
5.) Find an employer who will pay thousands of $ and spend at least a year (many more if you're from India or China) on an immigration lawyer who has to prove that there is no qualified American that can take your job.

After you get your permanent residence card (Green card), you must wait five years before you can take the citizenship test.

In comparison, Canada lets in almost anybody. You can file a refugee claim (easy), get a family member to sponsor you (easy), or fill in a questionnaire where if you get more than 65 points out of 100 on such things as "Do you speak English?" "Are you between the ages of 25 and 40?", "Do you have a college degree?", then you're able to permanently settle in Canada. After only THREE years, you can get citizenship easily.

Someone cited how a Canadian citizen originally from China had no ties to Canada. This is very typical for naturalized Canadian citizens who came here after elementary school. Many can't speak English (or French) and only hang out with people from their own country--they are Canadians only because their passport says so. Yet my country assumes that these Canadians-of-convenience are just as Canadian as we are. I really hope the U.S. does not follow Canada's path and give out citizenship like candy.

On the other hand, today I met an "Indian" in a Va. grad school who came here when she was 18 for college, speaks English with no accent and intermingles freely with Americans. Yet she does not even have permanent residency, let alone citizenship. These are the type of people that the U.S. should be letting immigrate to the country yet are not allowed to: people who contribute to America's scientific progress who want to stay here and build the nation, and who also are willing to adopt the country's culture and people as their own.

---------
P.S. Being fortunate enough to have been born in Canada, I never had to pledge allegiance to the Queen, and will never do it to that foreign hag.

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twistor
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby twistor » Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:36 pm

In addition to the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II is also Queen of Canada


[url]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_II_of_the_United_Kingdom[/url]

prat
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby prat » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:04 am

I am international student * . So, I guess , you'll want to say that is the reason I'm saying what I am ... but I'm not.

To quote B.Shaw "You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race" .Thats exactly how I feel.

* Well, not yet a student. Waiting for app results.

vicente
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby vicente » Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:13 pm

prat, it is not as simple as a matter of patriotism.

People have ties to their family and the culture they grew up in. And in the case of ethnic nationalists, ties to their ancestral homeland. These ties exist whether or not they support the government of their country of citizenship.

Can you honestly say that you are not going to send money home to your family? Or purchase cultural products from your country when in the U.S.? Or make friends and work/business connections more easily with people who share your culture? Or seek to find a wife/husband from your own country? Would you go to war on the U.S. side against your own country, if you didn't fully support the cause of war?

These issues are much less significant for Americans than for international students.

mathlete
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby mathlete » Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:00 pm

I think the focus should be on educating American students so that they are more competitive against foreign students, not kicking out talented researchers just because we're angry they weren't born in the US. I mean, they pay taxes too, don't they?

For what it's worth I'm a US citizen but I was born in Europe, so I'm kind of playing it from both sides of the fence.

vicente
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby vicente » Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:46 pm

You are, for all intents and purposes, an American, except for running for President or getting a top-secret security clearance.

prat
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby prat » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:23 am

To start with I want to make clear that I'm treating this whole issue from third person perspective. And, rather casually. Just making observations and giving opinions. I am not fervently advocating anything.

prat, it is not as simple as a matter of patriotism.
I just quoted Shaw. I meant 'nationalism', in this sense:

nationalism
1. Devotion to the interests or culture of one's nation.
2. The belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively, emphasizing national rather than international goals.

I don't think it really works in the long run. People are mingling. No matter that there is nationalist thinking and behaviour. The only reason English is thriving and regional languages are kind of taking the backseat is because English is so accommodative. They've freely adopted words from many languages - I guess mostly because the British Kingdom spanned that many different countries - but still, they accommodated.

Science especially, since its language is largely Mathematics, does not really have any problem.

I guess humans will really unite only on the treat of an alien invasion :D


People have ties to their family and the culture they grew up in. And in the case of ethnic nationalists, ties to their ancestral homeland. These ties exist whether or not they support the government of their country of citizenship.

Yes, so it goes for people from New York or California or Iowa, and different classes of society. Everybody relates to their background, and differentiates w.r.t it too.

Can you honestly say that you are not going to send money home to your family?
Everybody sends home money if they can afford it. Even if you are of Norwegian origin and your family lives in Italy.

Or purchase cultural products from your country when in the U.S.?
Well, most American citizens , and citizens of other countries too, end up buying Chinese products. Now what do you make of that? I just think its a matter of taste. I'm an Indian. The youth are not so much Indian here! They prefer eating from McDonald's or Pizza Hut or Baskin Robins or some-other-american-mnc . We are paying much higher price than what we pay for 'local food' . But nobody's really complaining that we're making profits for "an American company". We are purchasing your cultural products being very much in our own country. It's business. Nothing else.


Or make friends and work/business connections more easily with people who share your culture? Or seek to find a wife/husband from your own country?

Yeah, two people from any place (on earth) can relate easily. Sometimes not.


Would you go to war on the U.S. side against your own country, if you didn't fully support the cause of war?

C'mon! In the American Civil War the South fought against the North though they were all Americans! Humans will squabble as long as they are humans. They just want get into groups and defend them.


These issues are much less significant for Americans than for international students.

I think foreigners are perceived as 'foreign' especially because of how they look , how they talk , or what they eat. I bet Americans don't find people from England that much 'foreign', you already have a common 'native' language , though there should be some differences.

I don't know. I find that human beings are essentially the same everywhere. There are good people and bad people... and people in between .. everywhere.

Totally agree with what mathlete says.

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Novneet.Sume
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby Novneet.Sume » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:43 am

Totally agree with Prat and Mathlete.

prat
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby prat » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:29 pm

After coming across this topic as well as Eff Physics GRE ... I should say I'm a little depressed. I had no idea Americans feel the way they do (some at least) . It is disheartening. :( . I was quite looking forward to going to the US. Now, I'm a little apprehensive .

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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby excel » Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:23 pm

Prat,

As I took pains to point out in Eff Physics GRE, my experience as an undergraduate in the U.S. tells me that Americans do Not feel that way in general. It is only a few Americans who do. I strongly believe that these few people are simply insecure crybabies who do not have the guts to compete in a global scenario. I mean...just look at the graduate school preparation and application scenario...they can participate in REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) --something international undergrads in the U.S. cant, they can apply for NSF fellowships--something internationals cant etc., but instead of taking full advantage of these opportunities to strengthen their applications, these crybabies cry out for a quota to gain admission. My point is-- it is not an American characteristic that is on display here...but insecurity that you get to see among the peoples of all times and places. For example, consider the insecure and selfish jerks who had tried to suppress black Americans in order to keep the good things to themselves, the insecure Indians who sometimes complain against the competition from China and other countries of the Indian subcontinent etc. Wherever one goes and whenever one may have lived, one will always have to put up with these insecure crybabies.

What is ridiculous is that...these insecure crybabies care very little about their society in general...they clearly put their personal interests above the interests of the society they live in...yet, they think that this society is obligated to protect their interests simply because they were born in that society.

vicente
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby vicente » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:06 pm

prat wrote:I don't think it really works in the long run. People are mingling. No matter that there is nationalist thinking and behaviour. The only reason English is thriving and regional languages are kind of taking the backseat is because English is so accommodative. They've freely adopted words from many languages - I guess mostly because the British Kingdom spanned that many different countries - but still, they accommodated.

Science especially, since its language is largely Mathematics, does not really have any problem.

I guess humans will really unite only on the treat of an alien invasion :D


The thing is, nationalism is still here. We are not in your utopic world yet, and are far from it.


Yes, so it goes for people from New York or California or Iowa, and different classes of society. Everybody relates to their background, and differentiates w.r.t it too.


The difference is that there is roughly an equal flow of money, talent, and labor between California and New York, whereas with India and the U.S., the labor is going to the U.S. but the family money is going from the U.S. to India. Plus, Californians and New Yorkers feel part of the same nation, whereas Indians and Americans don't, except maybe for people like you who believe that nations are not important, but these people are in the minority, IMO.

Everybody sends home money if they can afford it. Even if you are of Norwegian origin and your family lives in Italy.


The difference is that if a California school pays for an Iowa student, the money stays in America, whereas paying an Indian student, some of the money will go back to India, and due to immigration restrictions, most likely the education will go back to India when the Indian student is forced to return home. The U.S. won't reap the benefits of the Indian's U.S. education directly. (Though you can argue that it does indirectly through the collective wisdom of humankind, but that is not comparable in effect)

Well, most American citizens , and citizens of other countries too, end up buying Chinese products. Now what do you make of that? I just think its a matter of taste. I'm an Indian. The youth are not so much Indian here! They prefer eating from McDonald's or Pizza Hut or Baskin Robins or some-other-american-mnc . We are paying much higher price than what we pay for 'local food' . But nobody's really complaining that we're making profits for "an American company". We are purchasing your cultural products being very much in our own country. It's business. Nothing else.


I'm sure that Americans consume more American cultural products than Indians do.
However if Indians continue to consume Indian cultural products while in America, it will not benefit America culturally and economically as much compared to if they adopted an American consumption pattern. Which is admittedly not completely American in terms of economics as you pointed out, but it does make a difference.


Yeah, two people from any place (on earth) can relate easily. Sometimes not.


Have you ever lived in a country with lots of immigrants from around the world? If you have, then you would know that many immigrants DO NOT relate easily with natives and immigrants from other groups. I mean, I agree with you that they have more commonalities than differences, but most people are closed-minded and can't see past the fact that they come from a different cultural background, despite having compatible personalities and interests.

What you say is theoretically correct, but in practice most immigrants don't make friends with many people who aren't immigrants from the same place. And that is a big problem for natives like us.

C'mon! In the American Civil War the South fought against the North though they were all Americans! Humans will squabble as long as they are humans. They just want get into groups and defend them.


So would you? Would you fight for America?
Or will you form an Indian fifth column?

I don't know. I find that human beings are essentially the same everywhere. There are good people and bad people... and people in between .. everywhere.


That's nice, too bad many people, both immigrants and natives, don't see it that way. They see blacks and whites as fundamentally different, Hindus and Muslims and fundamentally different, and men and women to be completely different.

We do not live in a utopic world where nationalism does not matter. In our world, people's life choices, friendships, marriages, allegiances, and business contracts are shaped by where we come from and where are heart is.

And because of that perhaps America should give a preference toward American students.

vicente
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby vicente » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:21 pm

excel, you are oversimplifying things, and you're calling everyone that opposes funding foreign students a "crybaby", which isn't very mature of you.

The fact of the matter is, current U.S. immigration law makes it very hard for foreign students to stay in the U.S. after their degree. And another fact is that most U.S. citizens stay and work in the U.S. after they graduate. Do you not see that the U.S. benefits more by enrolling U.S. citizens rather than foreigners? U.S. citizens will use their knowledge to help the U.S. directly, whereas foreign students will take their U.S. education and use it to develop their own countries' scientific industries which may be competing against U.S. interests. This is independent of whether or not they are nationalistic: many of them don't have a choice but to find a job back in their home country.

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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby zxcv » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:25 pm

I'm full American "native" (to use the bogus term) but I would not fight for this country. (I wouldn't fight for another, either.)

I think insular immigrant communities are as much the fault of the "natives" who fail to reach out they are the fault of the immigrants.

Clearly some of us reject the nationalist paradigm. I think it's bogus to make quantitative claims about how "most people" think without any real data. I also think it's bogus to assert some moral high ground just because there may be more people who share your views. If you believe something is evil (as I view most forms of nationalism), then it is reasonable to work against it even if it is inconvenient.

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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby vicente » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:52 pm

I think insular immigrant communities are as much the fault of the "natives" who fail to reach out they are the fault of the immigrants.


I've heard this argument too, but how can you reach out to them when they don't even try to speak English? Should us natives be learning their language to communicate with them?

I try to sit with a Chinese guy at a college caf and speak to him in English. He responds back in passable English. But then his friend shows up and they start talking in Chinese again! And completely ignore the fact that I'm right next to them.

That behavior is just plain rude. This is not a straw man I'm pulling here. Natives have completely accepted this practice as normal and refuse to challenge it for fear of being seen as non-PC, xenophobic, and even racist.

----

By the way guys and gals, do not vote in the poll unless you plan on stating whether you are a.) an American citizen, b.) a permanent resident, or c.) a foreigner!!!

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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby excel » Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:36 am

vicente: U.S. does not give away free education to foreigners. In return of their education, foreigners are putting money into U.S. economy. If a foreigner receives financial support as a student, then he usually does work (as TA/ RA) and pay taxes. It is a give-and-take mutual benefit thing.

What the students do with this education that they have essentially purchased is their prerogative. However, if anything, it is the U.S. which is to blame for not benefitting from these foreigners that they have educated. It is often the case that the foreigners do want to use their education in the U.S....it is the U.S. who dont want them to do so. So, the U.S. should relax the cap on the number of H-1 work visas if they want to benefit...this matter is in their (U.S.) hands.

I will reiterate: The few Americans who vociferously oppose the presence of foreigners as students or workers simply do so because they are insecure about their ability to compete...not because they think this is good for their country...i have no sympathy for such people.

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WontonBurritoMeals
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby WontonBurritoMeals » Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:31 pm

vicente: U.S. does not give away free education to foreigners. In return of their education, foreigners are putting money into U.S. economy. If a foreigner receives financial support as a student, then he usually does work (as TA/ RA) and pay taxes. It is a give-and-take mutual benefit thing.


I don't think that the taxes that foreign students pay is even close to what the government matches on them. The same thing goes for native students. Nationally funded education works on the premise that you'll be more productive in the future, make more money, and let the government take back what it spent on you and then some.

But I'm still for loosening the reigns on immigration, otherwise people will start going to their own universities and benefitting their own countries instead of America. Countrys and their citizens (no matter how rich) have no obligation to be provide for other Countrie's citizens or whatever.

Not that my experience is indicitive of jack ***, but I haven't had too many problems reaching out to international students at all, really. Usually they hang out in little groups, but everyone's like that, right?

There's xenophobia on all sides. But there are a lot of international students that are very good at reaching out beyond their own culture and don't have cultural superiority. My best friend is one of these.

So the solution, if there is one, is to help out and be good to the students that are planning on staying here, and not doing so to the rest. But government is, as usual, completely and totally inefficient and run by a bunch of stupid paranoid asses. I'd naively imagine that making work visas more accessible would be a step in the right direction.

May the wind be always at your back,
-Wonton Burrito Meals, proud stupid American

excel
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby excel » Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:28 pm

Hi burrito,

I agree with the central message of your post. However, I disagree with some of the economic part.

I am not sure what you mean by "nationally funded education". If you mean U.S. government funded education...
NSF & NIH training grants cannot be used to support international students. Intl students cannot apply for NSF fellowships. Public universities cannot use most of the money that they get from the government to support intl students, which is why most of them accept disproportionately fewer intl students. As far as undergraduate education goes...governement provides $ 0.00 to support the education of intl students...not even for REUs....but, I wont elaborate on the undergrad scenario at the moment.

To the best of my knowledge (and correct me if I am wrong), intl students usually receive their stipends out of private donation driven university endowment funds (for university fellowship or TA) and also NSF, NIH etc research grants (for RA). Now, I dont think such endowment funds come under the category of "national funding for education". However, the students on such fellowships & TAships pay taxes to the U.S. government + contributes to research projects of interest to the U.S. (and hopefully, the scientific community at large). As far as res grants go...these grants are not meant to support education per se, rather to support research. As a RA, a student gets his tuition paid + a stipend; in return, he drives forward a specific research project of interest to the natl funding agency + pays taxes. This is essentially an employment, not free education.

So, I do not agree with the claim that the U.S. government gives free education to intl students or any such thing. I will be curious to know what you now think about this, burrito and vicente.

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guguma
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby guguma » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:38 pm

I voted for the first choice and I am an international student.

I have a question regarding your pros and cons though. How do you define "American". I think that you do not define "American" as the Native American Indians right? American nation is a nation of immigrants; most of them from Europe but basically from whole world.

Many people who have made America take one step further include a great deal of people you refer to as "Internationals" and if we remind ourselves how stupid a notion "race" is a person who finds himself or herself most suitable in the USA is basically an American from that point on. It is not always the case that (especially regarding USA) people who are born on a certain country are the most beneficial people to the whole nation.

I am certainly not stating that international students are already better than domestic students. I am only saying that accepting qualified international people is always beneficial to ones own nation (country).

Just ask yourselves this question "Am I more likely to befriend an international physicist, or a domestic drug dealer?"
In my case I prefer to befriend an American Scientist to about 97% of the whole people who live in my country.

I think you will get what I mean.

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WontonBurritoMeals
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby WontonBurritoMeals » Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:33 pm

excel,

I am not sure what you mean by "nationally funded education".


I'm not sure that I know, either. =( :?

I'm afraid that I'm near the end of my knowledge rope. I'm certainly aware that most funding like fellowships, REUs, etc. are denied to international students. But I also feel like there are ways for international students to use financial help from the government (but they're hidden?). But yes, it isn't very much and is definitly estranged from what we're talking about.

I googled the first thing that came up on this subject and it said that just about half of all funding of International Students is through private endowments.

In 2006 in the USA, approximately 46% of all international masters students were funded from such sources, while institutional financial awards constituted a similar amount of all fee-paying international students.


The last thing I'll comment on is what you said about TA's and RA's.

As far as res grants go...these grants are not meant to support education per se, rather to support research. As a RA, a student gets his tuition paid + a stipend; in return, he drives forward a specific research project of interest to the natl funding agency + pays taxes. This is essentially an employment, not free education.


I think I'll have to dissagree here. Grants have more than one purpose; they're used to fund research for the national and international advancement of science, but they also have an educational perogative as well. After all, they're funding students, not just reserachers. Yes, it is much (MUCH) cheaper to fund grad. students than PHDs, but still? This process makes sense to me, though. You fund the students; you get the science; and you get the scientists educated. And honestly, isn't it true that one of the main draws to American graduate education is the amount of research funding available?

But please take everything as mere speculation. Perhaps we can get some better information from an actual international grad. student? i.e. "Haha! Thanks for the money, suckers!" or "Ah! I don't have 50k to buy a high frequency laser! What should I do?"

But my main point was just that the United States should do what's in its own best interest. Part of the strategy should include trying to get the best minds to move here and help the American scientific effort.

May the wind be always at your back,
-Wonton Burrito Meals

vicente
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby vicente » Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:42 pm

I do not believe in race and ethnicity, I believe that America does not belong to either the "Native Americans" or the Whites, it belongs to whoever sees America as their home and native land in their heart, whoever feels a part of the American people and takes care to participate and contribute to its culture and history. You do not have to be born in America to be American, but neither does possessing American citizenship make you an American at heart. America may mean different things to different people, but it is those who see it as home and its people as family who are American.

The same goes for other countries, though I suppose that in the Old World, the belief that "native raised but of wrong race = foreigner" is still prevalent.

prat
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby prat » Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:04 am

I am International (Indian) . I did not vote. Just took part in the discussion.

I think "groupism" is an innate human tendency. It is being researched on even now, meaning it's prevalent. Also, I think it will continue. Can't say it is good or bad. What can we do if it is our natural tendency, right? But, yeah, there are quite a few who do not believe in it.

vicente
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby vicente » Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:24 pm

In case anyone cares, the amount of time foreign students can stay and work in the U.S. has now been extended from 12 months to 29 months.

VT
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby VT » Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:27 pm

oh really, when did that happen? Are you talking about the OPT?

vicente
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby vicente » Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:56 pm

yeah, a week or two ago.

VT
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby VT » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:43 pm

Did they make that offical already? Do you know of any online source that has the offical info on this?

vicente
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Re: Should foreign students be allowed to work after graduation?

Postby vicente » Sun Apr 13, 2008 4:46 pm

http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/pr_1207334008610.shtm

the caveat is that the extension currently only applies if the student chooses an employer that uses the "E-Verify" system, used to detect whether non-permanent residents are trying to work illegally.




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