For many centuries, the United States has been one of the world’s leading nations in scientific and technological advancement. Such advancement is responsible for the world class health care, economy, and overall resources that allow for so many of the country’s residents to lead fulfilling lives.
However, the United States has also competed with other forerunning nations, such as China, surrounding the tech industry. According to Science Insider, “The shape of U.S. research is at stake as Congress tries to reconcile competing versions of a massive bill, 2 years in the making, aimed at bolstering U.S. competitiveness with China in research and high-tech manufacturing.”
Democrat officials are currently proposing changes in immigration policies. The officials are suggesting this reform in order to admit more science and tech scholars into the country. This is in hopes that the United States will be able to continually compete with the rapidly advancing tech models around the world. Congress is currently having discourse surrounding this bill, which is set to give foreign scientists and tech experts an advantage in terms of ease of entering the country.
If passed, Congress anticipates that the bill will do the following:
- Fortify technological and scientific advancements in the country’s tech sector.
- Allow foreign practices concerning STEM education to be prevalent in the U.S.
- Prompt the U.S. to invest more financial resources into the migration of foreigners into the country.
- Potentially inspire foreigners to pursue STEM in hopes to have a seamless admission into the United States in comparison to those entering under different pretenses.
Such a proposition seems promising to the beneficiaries, as well as the rest of the nation. However, although the United States benefits so greatly from the continued progression of the sciences, it is important that the nation reflect on what such an influx of immigrants would require of us.
How The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act May Inform Our Beliefs About Foreigners
It is no secret that native-born United States citizens have not always met immigrants with the most hospitality. Discriminatory and xenophobic practices and values have been an unfortunate part of American history and are still being fostered and perpetuated in the present day.
However, if Congress chooses to be a proponent in allowing foreigners to have merit and skill-based entry into the country, this may set a precedent of respect and admiration for the many ways that immigrants may contribute to the progression of the nation.
Science Insider also states, “Immigrants to the United States have played an outsized role in fundamental science and in starting U.S. high-tech companies. So, making it easier to attract and retain them should be a no-brainer, argues Representative Zoe Lofgren (D–CA), who introduced a separate bill last year to create an entrepreneurship visa.”
To hope that this movement may slowly but surely revolutionize unfavorable sentiments toward immigrants entering the United States may be naïve—but it also may not be a hope amiss. This is especially true considering the financial and economic progress that technological advancements can potentially bring to the nation.
An influx of tech and science savvy foreigners may require us to do some internal work in regards to foreign and native relations in this country. If passed, this bill may require American natives to:
- Be open to accepting a range of cultures and practices
- Confront discriminatory sentiments toward foreigners
- Confront and undo respectability politics when considering STEM in comparison to other disciplines.
- Be mindful to not reduce others to their respective skills and talent.
It is also important that we as a nation remember that those who are to enter the United States on these merit-based skills have more to offer than just their talent. They are not simply science or tech scholars but holistic entities who just so happen to be gifted in particular disciplines that will strengthen this country. Although their insight may fortify the nation, they are not commodities for our use—but beings who may also enjoy and take part in what the United States has to offer while simultaneously contributing to its greatness.