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Florida college presidents press for immigration reform

Nineteen college and university presidents from Florida are calling on Congress to revamp the country's immigration policies.

"As leaders of Florida’s universities and colleges, educating the next generation of entrepreneurs, scientists, and global pioneers, we call on you to address a critical threat to America's preeminence as the center of innovation and prosperity: our inability under current United States immigration policy to retain and capitalize on the talented individuals we are training in our universities and colleges," they wrote in a letter to the Florida delegation.

The presidents added: "Fixing our immigration system will be critical to scientific growth at Florida’s universities and economic growth in our state. In 2009, 53 percent of the students earning Master’s or PhDs in STEM fields from Florida’s research-intensive universities were temporary residents, a group with no clear path to stay in America after graduation. More than 60 percent of our students earning engineering PhDs in recent years were also non-citizens."

Signees included University of Miami President Donna Shalala, Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padron, Florida International University President Mark Rosenberg, Barry University President Linda Bevilacqua, St. Thomas University President Frank Casale and Florida Memorial University President Roslyn Artis.

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