Certain sections of a highly complicated bill aimed at reducing the nation's unemployment problem could seriously hamper the ability of Harvard and other institutions across the country to recruit foreign students and faculty, several University officials said yesterday.
The Senate has already passed, and Congress will review this week, a bill that would force foreign students to leave the United States for two years after graduating from any American University, and would prevent the hiring of foreign faculty to positions for which qualified Americans have applied.
These regulations constitute only a small part of a massive bill designed to revamp the nation's immigration policy But Parker I. Coddington, director of governmental relation for the University, said yesterday that the bill would force Harvard to after significantly its policy about hinng faculty. "We're anxious to hire the best person available in the world." Coddington said. Under the new legislation. "If there was one qualified American, we would not be able so hire today's parallel to Einstein," he added.
Henry Rosovsky, dean of the Faculty, and Archie C. Epps III, dean of students, were unavailable for comment last night.
Although the bill has already passed through the Senate. Coddington said he is confident the current lame-duck Congress will not pass it, because of the limited time Congress will have to discuss the proposed legislation.
Congress will begin debating the issue Wednesday, and must pass the bill by Friday, in order to enact the law this year If debate is not concluded by then, the bill must pass through the new Senate and Congress.
"There is growing opinion in Washington that this law will not be enacted this year or the coming year." Coddington said.
But he added that if the legislation is passed. In addition to the problems in hinng faculty. "We can expect that there will be a gradual decline over the year in foreign student enrollment."
And Hemen Shah '84, a citizen of India, said the restrictions "would he a deterrent. A lot of students come here with the intention of staying."
Because of an amendment to the bill successfully introduced during. Senate debate by Sen Edward M. Kennedy '54 (D-Mass)--who opposed the bill--6000 students each year would be granted waivers to remain in the country, but that number represents only a small percentage of the foreign students in the U.S. who graduate each year.
Several Harvard officials estimated that about 10 percent of Harvard's undergraduates and graduate students are from foreign countries.
Seamus P. Malin, assistant dean of admissions and financial aid, said "The alleged claim is that there are too many students staying on in this country and taking jobs away from Americans."
Jennifer J. Stephens, director of the international office, said. "The major factor behind the bill is unemployment and the desire to protect U.S. jobs and U.S. workers "But Stephens criticized the proposed regulations, saying no study has been conducted to show exactly how many students remain in American after graduation. "It is an unknown factor, how many students are staying here."