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Mr. MANZULLO. Mr. Speaker, as a proud original co-sponsor of the STEM Jobs Act, I urge my colleagues to support this carefully-crafted legislation. The American economy faces many challenges today, from burdensome regulations to uncertainty over taxes. One of our biggest challenges, especially in the manufacturing sector, is the skills gap--a lack of highly trained workers with the expertise to perform certain manufacturing jobs, or a shortage of scientists and engineers to develop new technologies. Manufacturing in America relies on innovation and skill, but too many factories slow down, too many opportunities are missed, and too many jobs are lost because of this skills gap. And worse, America's universities train and educate some of the most promising scientists and engineers from around the world, but our immigration laws force us to send them away to compete against American companies.
It makes no sense to educate foreign students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, only to send them overseas once they complete their studies. Rather than force these innovators and experts to join companies overseas to be in direct competition with American high-technology manufacturing firms, we should keep innovation and entrepreneurship here at home. The STEM Jobs Act will allow these bright minds who study at top American universities and are already in this country legally under a student visa, the option to stay and work for American companies, build our economy, and help create American jobs.
Mr. Speaker, this bill will not increase the total number of green cards offered to immigrants, and it will not allow foreign workers to take jobs that Americans are available to do. Instead, the STEM Jobs Act makes our immigration laws smarter and guarantees that these green cards are available only to fill jobs that Americans can't fill. This bill will enhance America's competitiveness in the global marketplace and will lead to the economic growth and job creation that American workers need.
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