Washington – Business Roundtable (BRT) today expressed disappointment that the STEM Jobs Act of 2012 (H.R. 6429), which would have made up to 55,000 permanent residency visas available annually to foreign-born graduates who earn advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) from a U.S. university, was not passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.
“Increasing access to green cards for foreign-born innovators – especially those we educate in U.S. universities – has long been a priority for Business Roundtable. The House missed an opportunity to help jumpstart the U.S. economy and create American jobs, but it should just be a short-lived setback,” said Business Roundtable President John Engler. “It makes no sense to welcome highly educated talent into our universities and then shut them out of our innovation economy.”
The STEM Jobs Act of 2012 was introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX). Similar measures have been separately introduced by Ranking Member of the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security John Cornyn (R-TX).
“We are grateful to Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Lofgren, Chairman Schumer and Ranking Member Cornyn for their leadership on advancing American innovation and addressing the STEM green card issue,” Engler said. “We encourage both parties in the House and Senate to come together and enact a bipartisan solution this year."