On November 30, 2012, the US House of Representatives passed the STEM Bill. This bill grants 55,000 green cards for foreign born US graduates in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
Lamar Smith (R-TX) said, “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,” He also added that the legislation would, “help us create jobs, increase our competitiveness, and spur our innovation.” Sen. Smith sponsored this bill.
However, in the Senate, the Democrats did not allow the bill to be brought up. The Democrats are looking to work out a comprehensive immigration reform and not do it in bits and pieces. The main reason for their not supporting this bill is not because they are against granting green cards to STEM graduates, but because they don’t want that to happen at the cost of the DV lottery program.
The STEM bill proposes to grant the 55,000 STEM visas by putting an end to the Diversity Lottery Program. The DV lottery now grants 55,000 green cards to eligible people from around the world. This program makes it possible for the winners to come to the US to live and work permanently. It is a great advantage for people, especially since they need not have US citizen relatives or employers to sponsor them. This program also has no wait time associated with the visas unlike other categories. Which means that as soon as the winners are announced, they can apply for their green cards.
It is not wonder that this bill is receiving a lot of opposition. The Democrats do not mind granting 55,000 visas to STEM graduates, but they do not want to do it by taking away the visas allotted for the Diversity Visa Lottery Program.
What do you think? Do you think the Republicans are right in what they are seeking? They feel they have made progress by participating in immigration reform. Do you agree with how they want to go about it? What do you think would be a better solution? Let me know through your comments.