President Trump Calls for America to Recruit 'the Smartest People in the World'
Not a word appeared in the mainstream media about President Trump's call for more legal immigrants to build America's talent pool. The liberal media is so anxious to portray the president as a jingoist xenophobe that it ignored a key policy statement on immigration. Trump declared in his Jan. 4 press conference on the government shutdown that the U.S. should convince the hundreds of thousands of foreign students who attend our universities to stay here and contribute to the U.S. economy. He's been listening to U.S. tech companies, who need the talent. And he's exactly right:
At the same time, [people] can apply to come into our country legally, like so many people have done. And we need people, Major. We have to have people. Because we have all these companies coming in. We need great people. But we want them to come in on a merit basis, and they have to come in on a merit basis. They can’t come in the way they’ve been coming in for years.
I get calls from the great tech companies, and they’re saying we don’t allow people at the top of their class, at the best schools in the country, we don’t allow them to stay in our country. So they end up going back to China and Japan and so many other countries all over the world, and we don’t keep them. They get educated at our finest schools, and then we don’t allow them, through a various set of circumstances, to have any guarantees of staying. So we lose out on great minds. We can’t do that.
We have companies that, if we don’t change that — and we’re working on that, and we discussed that with the Democrats, and I think they agree. We’re working on that. But we don’t want to lose our great companies because we have a ridiculous policy that we won’t accept smart people. So, call it politically correct or not, but we have to let these great, brilliant companies have the smartest people in the world.
Only 7% of U.S. undergraduates major in engineering, compared to a third in China. Russia, with roughly a third of our population, graduates as many engineers. We need more opportunities in STEM for Americans. We should subsidize engineers, mathematicians, and scientists and starve the resentment-studies programs that pollute American universities. To train more engineers and scientists, though, we would have to recruit more teachers from overseas, as Edward Dougherty, distinguished professor of engineering at Texas A&M University, explained in a recent essay in Asia Times.
The president displays his usual common sense and willingness to listen to industry leaders. This hasn't been an easy call. More than a year ago, top administration officials told me that they wanted to keep Chinese students out of the United States because many of them were spies. In fact, overseas applications to American graduate programs in STEM have collapsed over the past year, by up to 50% in the case of some important physics programs, I am told by academic leaders. That's a disaster for us.