Politic365.com recently published a compelling post on the efforts of the Congressional Black Caucus to have increased funding for historically black colleges and universities built into federal immigration reform. The members pushing the legislation, according to the report, are advocating for science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines at HBCUs and Hispanic-serving institutions to be strengthened in benefit to the nation’s future workforce.
“There will likely be an increase in the fees that employees pay” for HB1 VISA applicants and other workers under the STEM classification, Rep. Steve Horsford (D-NV) pointed out. “When the bill comes out there is going to be a very short window to make sure that these issues are incorporated in the final bill,” Horsford told the audience at the Howard forum on Black immigration.
S.T.E.M. development is where the money is, and certainly what the nation needs. But if black college continue on a path for producing within the nation’s needs, will black communities benefit as a result?
Additional funding in teacher training, public health, civic engineering, urban architecture – those are disciplines which can create opportunities for black communities. And while S.T.E.M. disciplines can cultivate greater diversity in an industry needy for diversity and global competition, does it stand to heal disparities in our own homeland?
And if the answer is no, we then must ask why is the CBC is all in for S.T.E.M., and relatively silent on every other industry desperately needing black professionals to heal black communities?