Why I support the America COMPETES Act

To The Editor:

Like many Oklahomans, I want our country’s economy to grow while increasing American innovation and global competitiveness and strengthening our national security.

To do so, the U.S. must remain a top destination for the best and brightest around the globe, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

To secure our country and support the economy, we need to pass immigration reform that increases opportunities for non-citizen STEM-advanced degree holders and immigrant entrepreneurs, allowing them to contribute to and build careers in the U.S.

The proposals in the America COMPETES Act that is currently in the conference committee would make an immediate positive impact by putting skilled STEM and medical professionals to work in fields where we desperately need them most.

In a recent national voter survey regarding the America COMPETES Act and related immigration and technology issues conducted by Moore Information Group and American Viewpoint, voters strongly support a pathway to permanent residence for foreign-born students who earn advanced degrees in STEM fields. To increase innovation, grow our economy and strengthen our workforce, 71 percent of voters support increased opportunities for non-citizens and foreign-born, highly skilled workers in the U.S.

As Congress works toward a final version of this legislation, I am glad to hear U.S. Rep. Frank of Oklahoma Lucas seems supportive of the bill and trusts he will work to pass the legislation to further Oklahoma’s commitment to a better STEM workforce.

Mick Cornett

Mayor of Oklahoma City, 2004-2018