Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure to help American innovators hire top graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who were born abroad.
"America trained these scientists, engineers and mathematicians. Why shouldn't Americans get the benefit of their knowledge?" asked Texas Congressman Kevin Brady, who co-sponsored HR 6429, the STEM Jobs Act. "The global technology race will determine if our nation remains the largest economy in world, but it all depends on attracting the best and brightest minds in the world to help America win that race."
The measure is net immigration neutral, providing up to 55,000 visas annually to high-tech workers while ending a controversial "visa lottery' program that awards green cards based on an annual drawing.
"This is important for the Texas economy. Our companies turn down too much work because we don't have the qualified workers to get the job done, which means we lose critical economic growth," said Brady, who regularly holds roundtable discussions with technology companies in the Houston region and across the state. "Texas innovators have the jobs. Until we can generate more home-grown graduates in these high-tech degrees, let's take advantage of the qualified candidates already studying here."