Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-49) today joined a bipartisan group of nearly 50 Members of Congress to introduce legislation to increase the number of visas available to foreign students receiving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) advanced degrees in the United States. The STEM Jobs Act (H.R. 6429) supports American job creators' ability to innovate and grow by reallocating up to 55,000 visas per year to highly skilled foreign students, while eliminating the diversity visa lottery. The STEM Jobs Act builds off visa reform legislation Issa reintroduced in January 2011 to increase American competitiveness.
"For years, American colleges and universities have given foreign students the STEM skills they need to compete in the global economy, yet our inadequate visa system has ensured those skills are put to use in other countries," Issa said. "These individuals are forced to return home, or to third-party countries such as Canada and they often become innovators and entrepreneurs who create prosperity and world-class companies. Meanwhile, American job creators are crying out for the very people our broken immigration system turns away."
"This legislation is a good step towards reforming our immigration system to ensure our economy has the workforce it needs to return to growth. Increasing STEM visas has been a priority throughout my service in Congress, and I am proud to be an original cosponsor of H.R. 6429."
The full U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the STEM Jobs Act later this week.