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Public Statements

STEM Jobs Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Mr. Speaker, let me first thank the gentleman from California (Mr. Issa), and I applaud the Republican leadership for bringing this important bill to the floor.

I think it's important that we bring down the decibels and that we talk about facts. This is an issue where passions are very high, but I think it's important to bring down the decibels a little bit and speak about some of the facts.

Look, we know that America is home to some of the best universities on the planet; and because of that, people from around the world, students from around the world, young people from around the world come to study in our universities. Then, unfortunately, when they're done, we, in essence, show them the door out; and they have to leave the country. And they leave the country then and become the best, the toughest competitors to American enterprise. They create jobs elsewhere--not in the United States. Talking about outsourcing, this is the mother of all outsourcing.

So what does this bill do? It tries to solve that issue. It tries to keep those individuals here. Those are the facts. Now, I would like to see a large number of that. And I think all of us should be talking about maybe we can expand those numbers. And that, I think, would be a wonderful debate to have.

Now, not only does this bill do that, but it also promotes a smarter immigration system that helps maintain our competitive edge, and it also helps keep families together. Ensuring that spouses and minor children remain together is simply the right thing to do; is it not? Is that not something that is a compassionate principle of the vast majority of the Members of the House, keeping families together? Of course it is. This bill helps to do that.

Mr. Speaker, we've heard a lot of blame on this issue on the floor today and, frankly, for years. And on immigration reform. And everybody knows my position on immigration reform.

It has been talked about for years with a lot of inflammatory rhetoric. And I will tell you, from Republicans and Democrats alike, the reality is that both sides are to blame for the broken immigration system that we currently have; and both sides need to come together--finally lowering the rhetoric--to find lasting, permanent solutions.

This bill is an important step in the right direction. It helps address and fix a very important part of the broken immigration system. It does not, Mr. Speaker, solve all the problems. It is not the panacea. It does not solve all the problems, but it takes a huge step in an area that we've been talking about in the House here for years--and both Republicans and Democrats have failed to deal with. This bill deals with that important part. So I'm glad this legislation is finally being considered by this body.

I commend the House leadership for their commitment to this issue. And I look forward, Mr. Speaker, to continuing to bring other issues, other issues to fix our grossly broken immigration system that is broken from A to Z. I look forward to bringing other issues; but in order to do so, Mr. Speaker, we need to lower the decibels. We need to talk about the facts.

The American people want us to finally fix this issue. They want us to come up with real solutions. As I mentioned before, nobody's claiming that this fixes everything; but it's a step in the right direction. It fixes a part of the problem.

I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Democratic side and my Republican colleagues on other such fixes. But I commend this House. I commend Mr. Issa. I commend the Republican leadership for taking an important step forward.


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