Increasingly, foreign-born students who pursue an advanced degree in a scientific field are choosing to leave the United States after graduation. This outflow concerns lawmakers from both sides of the political spectrum. The possibility of immigration reform is evaluated in the Washington Watch column in the January 2012 issue of BioScience. An excerpt from the article, “Will Lawmakers Reform Immigration Rules for STEM Graduates?,” follows:

Ranjini Prithviraj is at the start of a promising career in neuroscience. She is a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), serves as an editor on the NIH Fellows Editorial Board, and mentors students interested in careers in science. Despite her strong résumé and her PhD in cell and molecular biology from a well-regarded American university, Prithviraj’s ability to continue to work in the United States is uncertain, because she was born in India and raised in Dubai.

“I would like to stay in the US long term, but I’m not sure as of now,” said Prithviraj. “The reason I’m not sure is because the US makes it so hard for us foreign nationals to get a green card, irrespective of how qualified we are.”

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