Date Announced: 22 Jan 2021
BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA — In one of his first official acts, President Biden transmitted a comprehensive immigration bill to Congress. A key provision for the scientific community included in the bill exempts doctoral graduates in STEM fields from U.S. visa limits. Though this is just the beginning of a process that would require negotiation with Republicans to gain passage in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, it is a positive sign that the Biden administration considers this a day-one priority.
SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, strongly supports easing immigration barriers for graduates in STEM fields. SPIE previously endorsed similar provisions included in the Keep STEM Talent Act of 2019 introduced by a group of four senators that notably included Vice President Kamala Harris.
"As part of its organizational mission, SPIE supports policies that allow for the international mobility of scientists," notes SPIE CEO Kent Rochford. "The U.S. has had a long history of leadership in science and technology that relied on the brightest from around the world to come to learn, contribute, and innovate, and this provision will help reinstitute that leadership. As an organization, we will continue to support the international exchange of science, technology, and engineering, and we look forward to working with the incoming Biden administration on behalf of the optics and photonics community."
SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves more than 258,000 constituents from 184 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2020, SPIE provided over $5.8 million in community support including scholarships and awards, outreach and advocacy programs, travel grants, public policy, and educational resources.
Web Site: www.spie.org