Immigrants on Visas Are Overrepresented in Doctoral Programs

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According to the Center for Immigration Studies, immigrants received nearly half of all doctoral degrees issued in the U.S. in 2022. Despite their overrepresentation, immigrants are relatively average as doctorate recipients.

Current policy may cause natives to be crowded out of doctoral programs by foreign students with ordinary skills. Broader implications for “staple a green card” and other skill-based immigration proposals are discussed.

Temporary immigrants received 35 percent of all doctorates in the U.S. in 2022, including 75 percent of immigrant doctorates.

The student visa program naturally leads to immigrants earning a share of U.S. doctorates that exceeds their share of the population. Natives are underrepresented among U.S. doctorate recipients, while naturalized or permanent resident immigrants receive a proportional share, and temporary immigrants are vastly overrepresented due to student visas.

We’re educating the world very well.

While the number of doctorates earned by natives has risen only slightly since 1974, the number of doctorates issued to immigrants has increased much more.

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