Today, Congressman Ted Poe signed on as an original co-sponsor to H.R. 6429, the STEM Jobs Act, a bipartisan bill that will increase global competitiveness, create more jobs and stimulate our economy by enhancing the green card system for foreign graduates of American universities who obtain degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Every year, competitive students from all over the world come to America to attend some our top schools, including the University of Texas -- Austin, for advanced degrees in the STEM fields. Under our broken immigration system, employers and students face hurdles in that ultimately send these American-educated and trained students back to their home country where they compete with U.S. companies. To rectify this, the STEM Jobs Act will cancel the lottery visa program and redistribute up to 55,000 green cards to the best qualified graduates of American universities with STEM degrees. This replaces the lottery system of arbitrary per country caps on visas with a system that allows the U.S. to get the best and the brightest the world has to offer.
Let's allow U.S. educated students with advanced degrees help U.S. companies compete globally rather than sending them overseas to compete against us. Let's give these smart, highly trained students a chance to call America "home" instead of going to work for one of our global competitors. Studies have shown that STEM graduates, on average, create 2.6 American jobs. In fact, between 1995 and 2005, foreign-born STEM workers founded half of the firms in Silicon Valley. Do we really want the next Google or Apple to be created abroad? America has always been the birthplace of innovation - let's keep it that way.
When these foreign students come to America for our education, they also learn the secrets to American ingenuity. The STEM Jobs Act will allow these talented students to use their advanced degrees to help U.S. companies and strengthen our economy instead of competing against us.
Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Immigration Subcommittee.