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Similarly, it has been noted that

  • Many students from abroad stay here after their education is complete and contribute greatly to our economy.

  • Foreign students who do return home often are our best ambassadors.

  • The United States benefits economically from open trade, and our security is reinforced by rising living standards in developing countries.

  • The quality of life in the United States has been improved as a result of shared scientific results. Some foreign-born students do return home to work as competitors, but others join in international collaborations that help us move faster in the development and adaptation of new technology and thereby create new jobs.

Yet, Section 214b of the Immigration and Nationality Act requires applicants for student or exchange visas to provide convincing evidence that they plan to return to their home countries—a challenging requirement.

Sensitive but Unclassified Information

Since 9/11, the amount of information designated sensitive but unclassified (SBU) by the US government has presented a problem that is less publicized than visas or deemed exports but is a complicating factor in academic research. The SBU category, as currently applied, is inconsistent with the philosophy of building high fences around small places associated with the traditional protection of scientific and technical information. There are no laws, no common definitions, and no limits on who can declare information “SBU,” nor are there provisions for review and disclosure after a specific period. There is little doubt that the United States would profit from a serious discussion about what kinds of information should be classified, but such a discussion is not occurring.

THE PUBLIC RECOGNIZES THE CHALLENGES

Does the public truly see the challenge to our prosperity? In recent months, polls have indicated persistent concern not only about the war in Iraq and issues of terrorism but also, and nearly equally, about jobs and the economy. One CBS-New York Times poll showed security leading economic issues by only 1%;41 another42 showed that our economy and job security

41

CBS News-New York Times poll, June 10-15, 2005; of 1,111 adults polled nationwide, 19% found the war in Iraq the most important problem, 18% cited the economy and jobs. Available at: http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/CBSNews_polls/bush616.pdf.

42

ABC News-Washington Post poll, June 2-5, 2005; of 1,002 adults polled nationwide, 30% rated the economy and jobs of highest concern, 24% rated Iraq of highest concern.



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