MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Twenty-one leaders of Tennessee's colleges and universities have sent a letter to the state's two U.S. senators urging their support for immigration reform that will allow more graduates to remain in the country after they finish their education.
The letter dated Wednesday asks Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker to back a bi-partisan plan that would ensure foreign-born students educated in U.S. universities will have a clear path to work in this country after graduation.
The educators say current immigration policy threatens "America's pre-eminence as a global center of innovation and prosperity" because of its inability to retain skilled foreign-born graduates.
Some members of Congress want a bill that includes a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here illegally, an idea that's been met with deep skepticism by some lawmakers.
-- The following is a list of Tennessee college and university chancellors and presidents who signed the letter:
John Morgan, Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents system
Jimmy Cheek, The University of Tennessee in Knoxville
Nick Zeppos, Vanderbilt University
Shirley Raines, University of Memphis
Brian Noland, East Tennessee State University
Robert Fisher, Belmont University
John Smarrelli, Christian Brothers University
Harvill Eaton, Cumberland University
James Williams, Fisk University
Greg Jordan, King College
Gary Weedman, Johnson University
James Dawson, Lincoln Memorial University
Randy Lowry, Lipscomb University
Kenneth Schwab, Middle Tennessee School for Anesthesia
Bill Greer, Milligan College
Gordon Bietz, Southern Adventist University
Richard Phillips, Southern College of Optometry
Glenda Glover, Tennessee State University
Philip Oldham, Tennessee Tech University
Dan Boone, Trevecca Nazarene University
Nancy Moody, Tusculum College