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Paulsen, Quigley Reintroduce Bipartisan Immigration Bill Encouraging American Innovation

By Bill at June 02, 2017 20:55
Filed Under: Immigration News

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Erik Paulsen (MN-03) and Congressman Mike Quigley (IL-05) introduced the bipartisan Stopping Trained in America Ph.D.s from Leaving the Economy (STAPLE) Act, which would exempt foreign-born individuals who have earned an American Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from the limits on the number of employment-based green cards and H-1B visas awarded annually.

“It is no surprise that the brightest minds from around the world come to the United States to pursue their advanced degrees, and we should be doing all we can to ensure students we educate and train here use what they’ve learned to contribute to the American economy,” said Congressman Paulsen. “With thousands of high-skilled jobs going unfilled, the STAPLE Act makes sure American companies are getting the talent they need. By stapling a green card or visa to their diplomas, these professionals can invent and innovate new discoveries that grow our economy.”  

“If we are serious about fostering innovation, spurring economic activity, and staying competitive in the global marketplace, we must encourage the brightest minds in the world to study, work, and stay in our communities,” said Congressman Quigley. “We cannot advance our technology or research if we continue sending foreign-born, but U.S. educated, students with advanced degrees away. I am proud to join Rep. Paulsen in re-introducing the STAPLE Act, which invests in our future by supporting STEM educated professionals that want to contribute to our economy and society.”

H-1B visas, also known as high-skilled visas, are subject to annual caps that are woefully short of the number necessary to fill high-skilled jobs. Since April 1 when the U.S. began accepting H-1B petitions, the U.S. has received 233,000 applications for these high-skilled visas. Only 65,000 will be available this year, meaning that applicants will be subject to a lottery where two-out-of-three applicants will be denied a visa.

Numerous studies have found that H-1B visas correspond with an increase in jobs for native citizens. For example, a 2011 American Enterprise Institute study found that “an additional 100 foreign-born workers in STEM fields with advanced degrees from U.S. universities is associated with an additional 262 jobs among U.S. natives.”

Congressman Paulsen, a champion of small business and advocate of free enterprise, entrepreneurship, and innovation, serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, the bicameral Joint Economic Committee, and is co-chair of the Congressional Medical Technology Caucus.

House Judiciary Committee Approves High-Skilled Immigration Bill

By Bill at July 03, 2013 15:47
Filed Under: Immigration News
The House Judiciary Committee today approved the Supplying Knowledge Based Immigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM Visas Act (H.R. 2131), also known as the SKILLS Visa Act,in a vote of 20-14. This bill provides American employers with access to the world’s best talent by allocating green cards to foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, increasing H-1B visas, and repealing the employment-based per-country cap.

Key Components of the SKILLS Visa Act:

Increases Green Cards for STEM Grads: The SKILLS Visa Act allocates up to 55,000 green cards a year for employers to petition for foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in STEM fields.

Increases and Strengthens H-1B Visa Program: The SKILLS Visa Act increases the H-1B visa cap for high-skilled workers to 155,000 and increases the special pool of visas for foreign graduates of U.S. universities to 40,000. The bill contains enhanced anti-fraud provisions and allows H-1B spouses to work.

Market-Based Approach to Protect American Workers: The bill improves the prevailing wage calculation to better protect American workers and extends the prevailing wage protection to similar visa programs.

Provides Entrepreneur Visas: The bill allocates up to 10,000 green cards a year for alien entrepreneurs who can attract investment from venture-capital firms to establish businesses that will create at least five jobs or have already created five jobs over 10 years through the E-2 treaty investor program.

Strengthens Investor Visa Program: The bill strengthens the investor visa green card program by making the regional center pilot project permanent, indexing investment requirements for inflation, and adding anti-fraud protections.

Eliminates Arbitrary Caps: The bill eliminates the employment-based green card per-country cap, allowing American employers to have access to the best talent.

Keeps Families Together: The bill allocates an additional 25,000 green cards a year to the spouses and minor children of permanent residents. It also raises the family-sponsored per-country cap.

Makes Immigration System Smarter: The bill repeals the diversity lottery green card program, which is a magnet for fraud and poses a national security threat.

Smith Introduces the STEM Jobs Act

By Bill at September 20, 2012 05:02
Filed Under: Immigration News
For Immediate Release
September 18, 2012
Contact: Jessica Baker, (202) 225-3951

Smith Introduces the STEM Jobs Act

Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and nearly 50 Members of Congress today introduced bipartisan legislation to help the United States boost job creation, grow our economy, and remain globally competitive by increasing green cards for talented foreign graduates of American universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  The STEM Jobs Act (H.R. 6429) eliminates the diversity visa lottery and reallocates up to 55,000 green cards a year to the top foreign graduates of U.S. universities with STEM doctorates.  Any remaining green cards are then made available to foreign graduates with master’s degrees in STEM fields.  The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the STEM Jobs Act this Thursday. 

Chairman Smith:  “Many of the world’s top students come to the U.S. to obtain advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects.  We could boost economic growth and spur job creation by allowing American employers to more easily hire some of the most qualified foreign graduates of U.S. universities.  These students have the ability to start a company that creates jobs or come up with an invention that could jump-start a whole new industry. 

“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.  For America to be to the world’s economic leader, we must have access to the world’s best talent.  The STEM Jobs Act makes our immigration system smarter by eliminating the diversity visa program and reallocating up to 55,000 new green cards to the best foreign graduates with advanced degrees in STEM fields.  This legislation will help us create jobs, increase our competitiveness, and spur our innovation.”

Original cosponsors of H.R. 6429 include Reps. Bob Goodlatte, (R-Va.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), David Dreier (R-Calif.), Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.), Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), Steve Chabot (R- Ohio), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Ted Poe (R-Texas), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Sam Johnson (R-Texas), Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.), Wally Herger (R-Calif.), Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.), Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Pete Sessions (R-Texas), Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Carter (R-Texas), Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Michael Conaway (R-Texas), Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), Ann Marie Buerkle (R-N.Y.), Renee Elmers (R-N.C.), Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), David McKinley (R-W.Va.), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Dave Schweikert (R-Ariz.), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), and Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.).

Sen. Schumer Press Release of BRAINS Act

By Bill at September 20, 2012 04:57
Filed Under: Immigration News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 18, 2012

SCHUMER, COONS INTRODUCE VISA REFORM PLAN TO KEEP BEST AND BRIGHTEST IN U.S. TO FUEL VITAL INDUSTRY, CREATE JOBS AND BOOST ECONOMIC GROWTH



Current Immigration Policy Encourages Foreign Students With Advanced Degrees To Move Home, Despite Shortage of Engineers in U.S. “BRAINS Act” Would Make It Easier For Most Talented Foreign Students To Stay In U.S. After School And Fill High-Tech Jobs Vital To Emerging Start-ups and Tech Giants

Senate Plan Would Create 55K New STEM Visas In Each of Next Two Years

 

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Chris Coons (D-DE) unveiled legislation on Tuesday to reform the U.S. visa system in order to encourage the world’s best and brightest to stay in the United States after receiving graduate degrees in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. 

 

The “BRAINS Act” would fix a long-existing problem in our visa system that, despite the worsening shortage of highly-skilled tech workers based in the United States, forces many of the world’s brightest students to return to their country of origin, taking with them any economic growth and jobs that they might create. 

 

The legislation creates a pilot program through which 55,000 new green cards per year will be available for foreign students who graduate from U.S. universities with advanced degrees in STEM fields. It also reduces the red tape to obtain a student visa, and allows high-tech workers currently in the United States on temporary visas to renew their visas without having to first return to their country of origin. 

 

“It makes no sense that America is educating the world’s smartest and most talented students and then, once they are at their full potential, kicks them out the door,” said Schumer. “We should be encouraging every brilliant and well educated immigrant to stay here, build a business here, employ people here, and grow our economy.  Fixing our broken greencard system will help ensure that the next eBay, the next Google, the next Intel will be started in America, not in Shanghai.”

 

"American colleges and universities are educating some of the sharpest technical minds on the planet," Coons said. "So why are we sending them away to pursue their ideas in other countries? We are fueling the economies that are trying to beat us in the global marketplace. The BRAINS Act clears a path for foreign-born, American-educated students with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math to stay in the United States after graduation to pursue their ideas and create jobs here. This bill is a creative solution to a significant problem, and a smart way to inject new innovations into the American market. I'm proud to support these needed reforms to our immigration system, and to help unite families who are an integral part of the fabric of this country."

 

Current immigration policy encourages foreign students to study and get their degrees from America’s top universities, but discourages those same students from remaining in the United States and starting new companies in America. Schumer and Coons noted that those students who wish to make America their permanent home must compete for very limited H1-B temporary visas that make it difficult to change jobs, earn a promotion, or travel abroad; or they must eventually give up and return home—wasting what is often up to a decade of educational investment by our American schools.

 

Sen. Schumer Press Release of BRAINS Act

By Bill at September 20, 2012 04:57
Filed Under: Immigration News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 18, 2012

SCHUMER, COONS INTRODUCE VISA REFORM PLAN TO KEEP BEST AND BRIGHTEST IN U.S. TO FUEL VITAL INDUSTRY, CREATE JOBS AND BOOST ECONOMIC GROWTH



Current Immigration Policy Encourages Foreign Students With Advanced Degrees To Move Home, Despite Shortage of Engineers in U.S. “BRAINS Act” Would Make It Easier For Most Talented Foreign Students To Stay In U.S. After School And Fill High-Tech Jobs Vital To Emerging Start-ups and Tech Giants

Senate Plan Would Create 55K New STEM Visas In Each of Next Two Years

 

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Chris Coons (D-DE) unveiled legislation on Tuesday to reform the U.S. visa system in order to encourage the world’s best and brightest to stay in the United States after receiving graduate degrees in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. 

 

The “BRAINS Act” would fix a long-existing problem in our visa system that, despite the worsening shortage of highly-skilled tech workers based in the United States, forces many of the world’s brightest students to return to their country of origin, taking with them any economic growth and jobs that they might create. 

 

The legislation creates a pilot program through which 55,000 new green cards per year will be available for foreign students who graduate from U.S. universities with advanced degrees in STEM fields. It also reduces the red tape to obtain a student visa, and allows high-tech workers currently in the United States on temporary visas to renew their visas without having to first return to their country of origin. 

 

“It makes no sense that America is educating the world’s smartest and most talented students and then, once they are at their full potential, kicks them out the door,” said Schumer. “We should be encouraging every brilliant and well educated immigrant to stay here, build a business here, employ people here, and grow our economy.  Fixing our broken greencard system will help ensure that the next eBay, the next Google, the next Intel will be started in America, not in Shanghai.”

 

"American colleges and universities are educating some of the sharpest technical minds on the planet," Coons said. "So why are we sending them away to pursue their ideas in other countries? We are fueling the economies that are trying to beat us in the global marketplace. The BRAINS Act clears a path for foreign-born, American-educated students with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math to stay in the United States after graduation to pursue their ideas and create jobs here. This bill is a creative solution to a significant problem, and a smart way to inject new innovations into the American market. I'm proud to support these needed reforms to our immigration system, and to help unite families who are an integral part of the fabric of this country."

 

Current immigration policy encourages foreign students to study and get their degrees from America’s top universities, but discourages those same students from remaining in the United States and starting new companies in America. Schumer and Coons noted that those students who wish to make America their permanent home must compete for very limited H1-B temporary visas that make it difficult to change jobs, earn a promotion, or travel abroad; or they must eventually give up and return home—wasting what is often up to a decade of educational investment by our American schools.

 

A summary of the new STEM proposal appears below.

 

Overview of the Benefits to Research and American Innovation through Nationality Statutes Act of 2012 (‘‘BRAINS Act’’)

 

The BRAINS Act will finally provide the much-needed reform to our high-skilled immigration system that America needs to ensure that the industries of the 21st century take root here in the United States.  It will accomplish this goal in the following ways:

 

1.     It creates a 2-year pilot program to provide 55,000 new green cards per year for foreign students who graduate from U.S. universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (“STEM”). 

 

2.     To be eligible, an alien must 1) have received a master’s degree or higher from an eligible U.S. university in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics; 2) have an offer of employment in the U.S. in a STEM field, and 3) be petitioned for by an employer who has gone through labor certification to show that there are not sufficient American workers able, willing, equally qualified and available for the job at the wage level paid by the employer to all other individuals with similar experience and qualifications for the job.

 

3.     To be eligible for its students to receive green cards, a university must be: 1) accredited; 2) at least 10 years old; and 3) classified as a research institution by the Director of the National Science Foundation.  The school cannot provide incentive payments to persons based on securing foreign students for the university.

 

4.      It encourages the best and brightest foreign students to study, live, and work in the United States by allowing them to receive student visas to attend our colleges and universities to study in STEM fields.  STEM students will no longer be required to demonstrate that they have no desire to stay permanently in the U.S. as a precondition to being allowed to attend school here. 

5.   It provides any unused green cards from this program to be used to reduce the backlog for employment-based green cards that exists for highly-skilled STEM advanced-degree graduates from foreign universities.

6.   It allows temporary workers on high-skilled visas who have not violated their status to renew their visas from within the United States.

7.   I provides labor protections to ensure that foreign workers do not take high-paying high-skilled jobs that American workers are available to fill.          

8.   It codifies the practice that the priority date (for determining an alien’s place in line) for an employer’s green card petition is the date that the employer files the labor certification application.  The bill also ensures that an alien who switches from one green card family-preference category to another retains their original priority date, and that an alien who switches from one green card employer-preference category to another retains their original priority date.

9.   It expands “age-out” protection in current law to benefit minor children who turn 21 while they wait for their green cards to become available. 

10.  It encourages highly skilled workers to remain in the United States by providing for faster reunification with their spouses and minor children.  This is done by creating a new entry slot for a nuclear family member of a highly-skilled permanent resident when a lawful permanent resident is deported.  Consequently, net immigration is not increased, but family reunification is expedited. 

 

 

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