STEM Jobs Act passes House
November 30, 2012
The House of Representatives today approved H.R.
6429, the STEM Jobs Act of 2012, introduced by
Idaho First District Congressman Raúl Labrador
in conjunction with House Judiciary Committee
Chairman Lamar Smith (TX-21) and Representative
Bob Goodlatte (VA-06).
The legislation eliminates the backlog in the
visa process so that legal foreign students with
advanced degrees from American universities in
science, technology, engineering and mathematics
(STEM) fields can accelerate their transition
into the American workforce when offered jobs
from U.S. employers in high-tech fields.
“There is wide bipartisan support for STEM Visa
reform.” Labrador said. “Leaders in both parties
and businesses across America have recognized
the need to retain the best and brightest minds
in the world. They already come here to be
educated—but when they graduate our system is so
inefficient they return home or move to Canada
where they compete against us. With the STEM
Jobs Act we are replacing a broken, inefficient
visa program with one that works, rewards
innovation, and means jobs for our economy.”
The STEM Jobs Act eliminates the current
diversity visa lottery program, which grants
55,000 visas at random, and makes those visas
available to STEM graduates. The overall number
of visas allocated will not be increased.
The legislation also makes changes to the “V”
nonimmigrant visa program, updating
family-focused immigration allowances.
“Reauthorizing the “V” visa program will reunite
families and allow husbands, wives and families
of workers to wait in the United States while
their applications are processed. It doesn’t
bring anyone new into the country but allows
families to wait together.”
The House approved the STEM Jobs Act of 2012 by
a vote of 249-139.
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