Science and technology students at the nation’s historically black colleges could get a boost from President Donald Trump’s executive order aimed at altering a visa program that brings highly skilled workers to the United States.

Leaders and advocates for historically black colleges and universities have been monitoring the immigration and jobs debate, telling the Trump administration and congressional lawmakers that so-called science, technology, engineering and math graduates from HBCU schools are readily available to fill high-tech jobs that are currently going to foreign workers.

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., who hosted a gathering of black college presidents in Washington, said Trump’s order “as a byproduct could help some of the HBCU graduates.”

“I think it can be a good thing,” added Walker, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, whose district includes North Carolina A&T State University. “I want to see what comes of this, and maybe later on this year we’ll have a better idea.”

(Next page: What education leaders and lawmakers say)

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