Smith Releases Draft STEM Legislation


By:  Lamar Smith
Date: Sept. 14, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released a draft proposal to help the United States boost job creation, grow our economy, and remain globally competitive by increasing green cards for talented foreign graduates of American universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This draft legislation eliminates the diversity visa lottery and reallocates up to 55,000 green cards a year to the top foreign graduates of U.S. universities with STEM doctorates. Any remaining green cards will then be made available to foreign graduates with master's degrees in STEM fields. Chairman Smith intends to introduce his bill early next week.

Chairman Smith: "Many of the world's top students come to the U.S. to obtain advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects. We could boost economic growth and spur job creation by allowing American employers to more easily hire some of the best and brightest foreign graduates of U.S. universities. These students have the ability to start a company that creates jobs or come up with an invention that could jump-start a whole new industry.

"In a global economy, we cannot afford to educate these foreign graduates in the U.S. and then send them back home to work for our competitors. For America to be to the world's economic leader, we must have access to the world's best talent. The proposed legislation will generate jobs and economic growth by allowing U.S. businesses to retain outstanding foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in STEM fields. This will help us create jobs, increase our competitiveness, and spur our innovation."

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