Foreign Students and Professional Migration

Vibha Bhalla, Bowling Green State University

Immigration scholars have located professional immigration through the lens of direct migration, occurring under the aegis of the Hart-Cellar Act of 1965, and its Third and Sixth preferences. Consequently, the indirect professional migration that emerges from students and temporary workers, has been overlooked, as have the policies and processes that aided nonimmigrants to become permanent settlers. Indirect professional migration preceded direct migration and commenced in the 1950s when employers began using students and temporary workers. Following Madeline Hsu’s The Good Immigrants, which has drawn attention to the Chinese student migration prior to the passage of the Hart-Cellar Act of 1965, my presentation analyzes student migration from India to the U.S. after India’s independence in 1947. The student migration from India to the U.S. was new since traditionally Indians migrated to England, or to other regions of British colonial empire. The paper argues that Indian students paved the way for Indian professional migration. Along with exploring the genesis of Indian student migration to the U.S., the paper explores the processes and practices that emerged in the 1950’s, prior to the passage of the Hart-Cellar Act of 1965, that enabled nonimmigrant Indian students to settle in the U.S. The paper argues that practices developed in the 1950s became part of the Hart-Cellar Act of 1965.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 226. Global Migration Systems and Trajectories