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In the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States government undertook a rushed effort to increase security. In addition to new legislation such as the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the government dramatically ramped up enforcement of laws that have long been on the books, and revised its policies to deal with new terrorist threats. While the need for increased security is undeniable, the costs of security measures need to be weighed as well, in terms of collateral damage they produce to the U.S. science and engineering (S&E) enterprise. In this article we focus on two main problems: the increasing difficulties faced by students and scientists from abroad in obtaining visas to visit and study in the United States, and the barriers that are being erected to communication and collaboration between U.S. investigators and international scholars.
Date of Publication: Fall 2005