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Stem Jobs Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Unknown


Ms. HERRERA BEUTLER. Mr. Speaker, before I speak specifically to this bill, I think it's important to note, I know my colleagues from the other side of the aisle are decrying this bill and its immigration stances, but I would submit for your consideration, when you had control of the House, the Senate, and the White House, you did not pass immigration reform. So let's stop treating this issue like a political football.

As the first American of Hispanic descent to represent Washington State here in the United States House, I want us to tackle this issue. But let's keep the facts the facts, and not use it as a political football, because it's important to millions of Americans and millions of immigrants who want to come here.

And why wouldn't you? This is a land of opportunity, and we want the best and the brightest here in the United States creating jobs and growing our economy, because in southwest Washington, where I'm from, we need jobs.

Today we're here to focus on commonsense solutions. And unfortunately, under the current setup, we're literally educating foreign men and women and then requiring them to go to India and China and be our competitors.

Under this scenario, who wins? Well, China and India win. Our competitors win.

Who loses? The American worker because, as the best and the brightest internationally want to come here and we tell them go away, go start a business to compete with our jobs, those jobs aren't going to grow in southwest Washington.

Fortunately, today we have the opportunity to change that, and then we can go on and tackle some of the other issues that my colleagues are bringing up because they're important and they're valid.

This STEM jobs bill ensures that employers are opening their doors and their job opportunities to Americans first. And if there aren't enough Americans to fill these highly skilled job openings, then we invite those foreign STEM graduates to apply. That's all this bill does. And it's an important piece that's going to open up economic opportunity for the men and women that I serve and that we all serve across this great Nation.

Right now, large employers--Microsoft was mentioned, that's from my home State, they have over 6,000 jobs that they're trying to fill. And you know what? They want to fill them with American workers. If they're not able to, then I think they should have the ability to offer those options to immigrants from China and India, South America, Mexico, Africa.

Whoever wants to come here and be a part of the economic engine that creates opportunities, let's open those doors. Why not?

With this bill, we'll continue to educate talented people to fuel our economy, and instead of sending them home to compete with us and our workers, we'll get to grow those jobs right here.

This is a compassionate bill that will drive economic innovation and create jobs. It is pro-family. It actually provides incentives to those folks. Those immigrants who go about this process in the right way, they'll be able to be united with their family here in the United States because of this bill.

There are safeguards.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the

gentlewoman has expired.

Mr. ISSA. I yield the gentlelady an additional 30 seconds.

Ms. HERRERA BEUTLER. This will allow them, and those family members who are waiting to immigrate legally, to come here and be with their mother, their father, who are here working. This has a lot of opportunities, and it also has safeguards for the American worker. Those jobs are first available to those citizens who may be able to fill the qualification.

So I'd ask my colleagues here today to support this very good bill. It's a piece of the puzzle. It's not the whole thing, but we need to take this a piece at a time, a solution at a time. And quite frankly, right now, solutions are what the American people are asking for, and this is a very good one.


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