STEM Jobs Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:  Joe Baca, Sr.
Date: Sept. 20, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to voice my strong opposition to H.R. 6429, the misnamed STEM Jobs Act.

Make no mistake about it, this bill is designed to reduce legal immigration to the United States.

H.R. 6429 doesn't just increase STEM visas, it also eliminates the Diversity Visa program--a legal immigration program that makes visas available to immigrants from countries that have low rates of immigration to the United States.

It is wrong to force Congress to eliminate one immigration program, in an effort to support another.

This misguided legislation also eliminates rollover provisions for unused visas.

Unfortunately, H.R. 6429 lets unused visas go to waste, and forces legal immigrants to continue to suffer in long backlogs.

In addition, I have serious concerns that this legislation automatically allows for-profit and on-line schools to participate in the new STEM green card program.

It's not too late for my Republican colleagues to change course, and sit down with Democrats to work on a bipartisan bill that strengthens the STEM visa program without limiting legal immigration.

I urge my colleagues to stand in solidarity and vote ``no'' on this attempt to reduce legal immigration.

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