The House of Representatives will soon debate and vote on a new bill called the STEM Jobs Act, according to Elizabeth Llorente’s recent Fox News Latino article.
When the bill was originally introduced in September 2012, it focused primarily on expanding the number of green cards available to international students who receive advanced degrees in science and technology from universities in the United States.
However, the updated version of the bill includes a provision that would allow spouses and children of these green card holders to come to the U.S. before their residency applications are completed. If passed, the STEM Act would allow eligible family members to enter the United States one year after they apply for green cards even if the cards have not yet been issued.
The United States currently offers approximately 80,000 family-based green cards, but the supply does not meet the demand. More than 300,000 families remain separated, and some must wait more than two years to reunite.
“American companies need these workers and our economy needs this legislation to help create jobs,” Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and chief sponsor of the bill, told the source. “According to a recent poll, 76 percent of Americans support the goal of this bill. And over 100 national organizations, U.S. employers and state and local organizations have endorsed the STEM Jobs Act.”
In spite of the number of families who have been separated, political experts believe it is unlikely that the bill will become a law. Democrats believe that Republicans did not consult them on the legislation, which could halt the bill’s progress when it reaches the Democratic-majority Senate, the source reported.
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