At the recent White House jobs summit, President Barack Obama addressed the need to admit foreign students into the United States. Obama said the intellectual freedom enjoyed in the United States is what draws the "best and brightest" minds from around the world. "If those students start seeing a closed door, then we are losing what is one of our greatest competitive advantages," Obama said.
Recently, the demand for H-1B visas has been on the rise after lagging for several months. If the demand continues to grow, the legal cap of 85,000 visas for 2010 will be reach in a matter of weeks. H-1B visa demand generally mirrors the economy's performance, and with only 11,000 jobs lost in November, compared to 741,000 in January, the rise in H-1B visa applications is not surprising.
Obama said that foreign students can provide the U.S. with an entrepreneurial spark and encourage new innovations. He said that once foreign students "study here they start enjoying the intellectual freedom and the entrepreneurship, they decide to stay, and they start new businesses. Suddenly you've got a whole new generation of folks who are creating Intel or other extraordinary businesses."
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