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Nobel winners are evidence of immigration's positive impact on U.S. scientific advancements

Amid the heated discussion in this election cycle about the need to tightly restrict immigration, a recent news item in The Hill, a political oriented website, points out that all six of the 2016 American Nobel laureates announced to date are immigrants.

The American scientific establishment will only remain strong "as long as we don't enter an era where we turn our back on immigration," cautioned Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, one of three laureates in chemistry. Stoddart, born in Scotland, credited American openness with bringing top scientists to the country.

Stoddart was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 2011. He won the Nobel in chemistry along with French researcher Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Dutchman Bernard Feringa, for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.

British physicists laud American education system

In an interview with The Hill, F. Duncan M. Haldane, a British researcher who won the prize for physics, described the immigration process as a "bureaucratic nightmare for many people." Haldane and fellow Brits David J. Thouless and J. Michael Kosterlitz, received the Nobel for "theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter."

The team of scientists had high praise for the American educational system and expect it will continue to attract top researchers from around the world.

The Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Oliver Hart of Harvard University and Bengt Holmström of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, British and Finnish immigrants, respectively.

Immigration laws help U.S. businesses fulfill needs

The needs of businesses for specialized workers often exceed the supply of qualified candidates within the United States. Most foreign citizens who wish to enter the United States must first secure either a nonimmigrant temporary work visa or an immigration visa for permanent residence. Working with a knowledgeable immigration attorney helps to ensure this process proceeds smoothly.

A 2014 report by the National Foundation for American Policy states the passage of two significant immigration laws - the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 and the Immigration Act of 1990 - paved the way for foreign-born scientists to move the U.S. and contribute to important scientific advancements.

In fact, the percentage of individuals with Ph.D.s working in science and engineering occupations in the U.S. who are foreign-born rose from 23 percent in 1993 to 42 percent in 2010

Sources:

National Foundation for American Policy: "The Increasing Importance of Immigrants to Science and Engineering in America"

The Hill: "Amid debate, all 2016 American Nobel laureates are immigrants"

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