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Re: Undocumented students

May 1, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 18

Readers also shared their opinions of the April 17 cover story online.

True, the argument used by [President Donald J.] Trump regarding the majority of illegal immigrants is flawed. This is because most illegal immigrants take the jobs which legal residents don’t want, e.g. the stereotypical strawberry picker.

But how does it look for jobs in which there is intense competition, especially in the sciences? The consensus is, and has been for quite a while, that the number of domestic Ph.D. holders far, far outstrips the number of commensurate job opportunities for Ph.D.-level scientists.

Does this article tell a very romantic and dramatic narrative of seeking a better life in a new country, but ignore the very real impact on the domestic job market for doctoral-level scientists? This article has elements in common with the popularized but completely incorrect “STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] shortage” claim.

Fenton Heirtzler

As an undocumented student in chemical engineering, it’s very nice to see an organization like ACS taking interest in us. I don’t know anyone in my major who is in the same position, and it makes me feel better to read about all these other people who are struggling with the same problems as me. It makes me feel like I am not alone.


Very good to see this reporting. I have encountered undocumented students in my work with Project SEED. This is an important issue that demands ACS attention.

Sarah Mullins


April 17, page 30, and April 24, page 45: An ACS Publications ad appearing in two issues contained an unfortunate typo. ACS Central Science Editor-in-Chief Carolyn Bertozzi is a professor at Stanford University, not Standford University.



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