A number of highly skilled university graduates could end up being forced to leave the United States following the expiration of their student visas. An annual cap on the amount of US visas that are given to thousands of foreigners with graduate degrees is the reason for the problem, and Kazeem Olanrewaju is one of the people who is suffering as a result of this rule. Olanrewaju is facing deportation this summer from his home in Iowa despite now holding a doctorate degree in both chemical and biochemical engineering.
The 38-year-old moved to the US eight years ago back in 2005 hoping to be able to offer his abilities to a country in desperate need of skilled workers. The Nigerian native is hoping to one day be granted an H-1B visa but currently holds a student visa that is about to expire.
President Barack Obama and many Congressional leaders have expressed their concern about immigration laws and promised to address these policies this year. Advocates of immigration reform feel that forcing graduates such as Olanrewaju out of the United States is only hurting the economy given the shortage of workers in the fields of engineering, mathematics, science and technology.
Olanrewaju was given a full scholarship totaling around $149,000 to go to the University of Iowa and gain his master’s and doctorate degrees, the bulk of which was paid by American taxpayers. “I don’t think it’s wise or makes any sense to spend that kind of money on someone, then leave them to struggle for themselves,” Olanrewaju says.