Published: September 21, 2012
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."
Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with more than $7.3 trillion in annual revenues and nearly 16 million employees. BRT member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock market and invest more than $150 billion annually in research and development – equal to 61 percent of U.S. private R&D spending. Our companies pay $182 billion in dividends to shareholders and generate nearly $500 billion in sales for small and medium-sized businesses annually.
BRT companies give more than $9 billion a year in combined charitable contributions.