Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D., (R-South Louisiana) issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the STEM Jobs Act, eliminating the diversity lottery green card program by reallocating up to 55,000 green cards annually to new green card programs for foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) degrees:
"American universities attract some of the world's best and brightest minds. From scientists, to engineers, to mathematicians, "STEM' fields continue to serve at the center of innovation and economic growth in South Louisiana and across the country. This legislation ensures green cards are made available first to foreign graduates with doctorates and any remaining green cards are then available for foreign graduates with master's degrees.
"While America has the most generous level of legal immigration in the world, we select only 5% of immigrants entering our country based on the skills and education they bring to the country. The STEM Jobs Act will allow for our nation to maintain its competitive advantage over the rest of the world while preserving our place as the world leader in innovation."