Letter: Help foreign students help our state economy

Nate Feltman’s column about a “brain gain” is compelling [A brain gain opportunity right before our eyes, Aug. 17]. Paying more attention to, and providing incentives to, those talented foreign students who attend universities in the U.S. seems clearly a good idea. In addition to the kindness and sense of fairness of our government in helping people who may have fewer skills and who are sometimes in the U.S. illegally, we should be investing more in the students you described.

You are right to encourage legislators to make common sense adjustments to our visa system to allow these foreign students who obey the law, support themselves and are able to speak English, to become a part of the American Dream. I also like the idea of state-level support to help these aspiring students navigate the federal visa maze and encourage and provide them in various ways with the means to stay in the states where they studied, such as Indiana.

I understand the compassionate desire to make opportunities for immigrants, but there is an equally important role for the government to play with respect to the kinds of talented people who could make a significant contribution in the first generation. As you suggest, an important goal should be to have an increasingly successful and vibrant economy in Indiana.

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Jerry Bepko

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