They're in your labs, classes, and journal clubs. You may advise them, or they may advise you. You may even be one of them. "They" are foreign-born life scientists, whose numbers and prominence have increased greatly over the past 20 years.

But far from exulting in their undeniable achievements,1 many researchers who have come to the United States from abroad are in a state of quiet desperation. They're caught up in the increasingly clogged and dysfunctional immigration system run by the 109-year-old Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

Legislative Action and Activism

Some delays in the green card application process have resulted from one-time events. In 1998, for example, computer glitches hampered applicant security checks conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency. Processing of applications was temporarily halted. A more stubborn impediment is the Immigration and Naturalization Service's need to handle the huge wave of citizenship...

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