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March 30, 2000 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-03-30

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 30, 2000

Act would give

'U'

VISAS
- Continued from Page1A
The University reached its H-1B
visa cap for this year last week.
Visas are obtained as the University
hires new staff, which may not occur
until the summer. Otherwise hiring with
the use of H-1B visas can only be done
six months prior to the hiring date. The
earliest that the University can hire for-
eign faculty members is Maich.
"That's why it hits the academic
community really hard. Businesses can
hire people any time of the year,"
Barth-Jones said.
Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.) is
the sponsor of the American Competi-
tiveness in the 21st Century Act, which
would increase the cap to 195,000 for
the next three years. In addition, higher
education institutions would be exempt
from any limit on the visas.
An increase in H-1B visas would
benefit universities in several ways,
said Stuart Anderson, director of
immigration policy for the Senate

Immigration Subcommittee.
There is a $500 fee on H-1B visas
that goes to scholarship funds for stu-
dents, which is expected to generate
S450 million toward 400,000 new
scholarships and training services dur-
ing a three-year period.
Anderson said members of the acad-
emic and research community with H-
1 B visas help to create more jobs
within the United States through
research, development and innovation.
Because there is a shortage of spe-
cially trained U.S. workers, Abraham's
bill would give businesses the opportu-
nity to hire more international students
graduating from universities in the
United States. These graduates would
remain in the country instead of head-
ing off to competitors overseas, Ander-
son said.
House Republicans also have made
efforts to increase the number of H-1B
visas with two bills introduced. But
only one - the Helping to Improve
Technology Education and Achieve-
ment Act - would specifically benefit

nore visas
higher education, University Federal
Relations Officer Cindy Bank said.
The Hi-TECH bill would create an
additional 200,000 H-1B visas and
would allocate 10,000 of those to
higher education institutions and
60,000 to individuals with a master's
degree or higher.
"The House bill is not quite as good
but it is pretty good. So basically we'd
be pleased if any one of them was
passed," Barth-Jones said.
Anderson said Department of Labor
data indicates that universities do not
appear to have any violations on i- IB
visas.
The House bill differs from the Sen-
ate version in that it includes a provi-
sion to raise the $500 visa fee to
S1,000.
Barth-Jones added that the bills
would make hiring professors and
researchers from overseas much easier.
The University's International Center
processes 250 to 275 visas per year,
but faculty and researchers can also
obtain H-lB visas from other sources.

REFORM
Continued from Page ILA
One of the keys to bringing about campaign finance
reform by 2002, Imus said, is staying active in the polit-
ical process this coming fall through cost effective
grassroots means such as pamphlets, fliers and letters
to the editor.
"We're going to have to do it community by commu-
nity," Public Policy Prof. John Chamberlin said. "This
is not something the Legislature will help us with."
One of the successful means of getting the message
out is through petitions. CFN member Johnston
Mitchell spoke of how the CFN branch in Maine
pushed campaign finance reform through a referendum,
partly by getting 1,200 volunteers to collect 65,000 sig-
natures in one day.
Mitchell estimated that for Michigan to produce sim-
ilar numbers, the state would need about the same num-
ber of volunteers. To do that, the speakers agreed that
they would need to connect with a larger audience than
just activists on campus.
"We need to reach out not only to the University
community but many people of different backgrounds
out there," Chamberlin said.

AUCTION
Continued from Page 1A
It's an opportunity for students to explore law careers that
don't involve the bigger and better-paying firms, Goldman
said.
"It's a feel-good event," Liu said. "There are great
items to bid on, and it goes to a great cause, helping
fellow Law students."
Last year the auction raised a record S30,000 and
SFF gave out 62 grants of $3,000 each. To cover rising
costs of living, the amount has been raised to S3,2
this year.
Even with this increase, SFF hopes to expand the
number of grants it offers to accommodate as many of
its 90 applicants as possible.
"It's our most visible fundraiser," Goldman said. But
SFF raises money by other means, such as a pledge
drive, which urges Law students to donate a day's pay to
the organization. She noted that law firms often match
students' offers.
The event begins with wine and cheese at 5:30 p.m.
in Room 100 of Hutchins Hall. The live auction follows
at 7 p.m., and the silent auction, which opened earli
this week, ends at 8 p.m.

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