Press Release

AIAA and IEEE-USA to Hold Capitol Hill Forum on Immigration and ITAR

By SpaceRef Editor
June 20, 2012
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Event Will Explore Impact on Future of American Technology and R&D Communities

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and IEEE-USA will co-sponsor “A Spark Deferred: The Impact of ITAR and Immigration Policy on the Future of America’s Technology Sector” on Wednesday, June 27. This luncheon event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Room 188 of the Russell Senate Office Building, Constitution Ave. and First St. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002.

The panel discussion will highlight barriers existing in the current student visa system and in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) regime that restrict foreign students from working in high-value research areas and within the U.S. technology sector, and how these barriers limit future growth in these sections, imperiling the U.S. economy and national security.

The panel will be moderated by Dr. Annalisa Weigel, Charles Stark Draper Career Development Assistant Professor of Aeronautics, Astronautics, and Engineering Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Panelists for the event will be: Dr. Robert P. Breault, chairman of the board, Breault Research Organization; Dr. Claude R. Canizares, vice president for research, and associate provost, MIT; and Mark E. Harrington, founder and principal partner, The Harrington Law Firm, Houston, Texas.

IEEE-USA President Jim Howard stated, “Among the many unintended consequences of America’s high-skill immigration system are its effects on aerospace and defense companies.” Howard continued: “These industries are critically important to our nation’s economy and national security. Congress needs to understand the impact restrictions on legal employment-based immigration have on our nation’s ability to export and innovate in these fields.” AIAA Vice President for Public Policy, Carol Cash, echoed Howard’s sentiments, noting, “Current immigration regulations pose long-term challenges to our security and economic prosperity. In order to ensure that the spark of creativity, invention, and future innovation remains burning brightly, we must rethink outdated policies which threaten more than they benefit our nation.” Cash continued, “Discussions such as these are the first step in building consensus toward real policy changes that will ensure a brighter future for our nation.”

For more information on “A Spark Deferred: The Impact of ITAR and Immigration Policy on the Future of America’s Technology Sector” contact Duane Hyland at 703.264.7558 or The event is open to credentialed members of the press.

AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 35,000 individual members worldwide, and nearly one hundred corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 500, Reston, VA 20191-4344
Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551

Duane Hyland, 703-264-7558

SpaceRef staff editor.