U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined a bipartisan group of Senators today in introducing the Immigration Innovation Act of 2013. The bill, also referred to as the I-Squared Act of 2013, offers a specific plan to address the shortage of visas and green cards for highly skilled immigrants working in science and technology fields and is already supported by businesses and business advocacy groups nationwide.
"New Hampshire is one of the country's greatest incubators for science and technology and I'm pleased to introduce the I-Squared Bill to ensure our state has the workforce to continue the innovation essential to New Hampshire's economy," Shaheen said.
Senator Shaheen is an original cosponsor of this bipartisan effort led by Republican Senator Orrin Hatch (UT) along with Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Coons (D-DE). The legislation aims to increase the number of visas and green cards available for highly skilled workers in the science and technology fields and for foreign students graduating from American universities with science and technology degrees. The I-Squared Bill will also increase funding for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education throughout the United States by raising application fees for employment-based visas and green cards.
Senator Shaheen, a longtime supporter STEM education, plans to re-introduce her Innovation Inspiration School Grant Program that will provide resources for states and schools to participate in non-traditional STEM education programs.
"Individuals with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are critical to U.S. competitiveness and should be given priority for permanent resident status," wrote leadership from Texas Instruments in a letter of support. TI employs nearly 150 New Hampshire residents at its Manchester facility. "We are pleased to support the Immigration Innovation Act of 2013 [which] recognizes the importance of highly educated foreign professionals to US competitiveness while also investing in U.S. education and training."
In addition to Texas Instruments, Oracle, which has 460 New Hampshire employees, has added their support. National business leaders have also endorsed the I-Squared Act of 2013, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Microsoft, Intel, and IBM.