Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on May 4, 2021
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 16, 2021
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recommends the federal government, through policies and actions, make it clear to the world that the United States continues to welcome qualified individuals from all countries to study, teach, work, advance technology, create jobs, and carry out the research and scholarship and other activities that will enhance our health, safety, welfare, and economy.
ASCE urges the Administration, Congress, and interested parties to work together to develop sound policies that ensure our national security while maintaining the inflow of talent that has contributed so much to our nation.
Overly restrictive limits and/or an arbitrary ban on the entry or return of qualified individuals from any participating country that can improve the public health, safety, welfare, and economy and enhance the quality of life in this nation can be damaging, both in the terms of scientific and engineering progress as well as in economic prosperity.
The United States has long welcomed international students, who historically have been drawn by the high quality of U.S. higher education, its value on the international labor market, and access to job opportunities in the United States after graduation.
ASCE recognizes that a strong visa process is vital to our nation’s security and that progress in science and engineering depends on openness, transparency, and the free flow and exchange of ideas. The United States has always attracted and benefited from international scientific and engineering talent. About 1.1 million international students were enrolled in U.S. institutions in school year (SY) 2019-20. This marked a decrease of almost 20,000 international students from the year before, following a decade of consistent growth.
The fostering of safe and responsible research is essential for scientific and engineering advancement, national prosperity, and security. History has shown that the growth and prosperity of the United States has been built on the talents, dedication, knowledge, and ideas of people from nations around the globe.
ASCE Policy Statement 551
First Approved 2017