Several large technology companies are backing legislation that would grant green cards to holders of degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, fields. According to ComputerWorld, Texas Representative Lamar Smith recently announced that he is working toward bringing the law into action.
“[The country] cannot afford to train these foreign graduates in the U.S. and then send them back home to work for our competitors,” Smith said in his statement.
The desire for these immigrants stems from the fact that many tech corporations want the United States to remain competitive in the global technology market. According to the American Institute of Biological Sciences, Vivek Wadhwa, director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University, said that he believes the need is even greater because some of the immigrants are being offered better positions overseas after they complete their studies.
“The world’s best and brightest aren’t begging to be let into the United States any more,” Wadhwa said earlier this year at a hearing held by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives. “They often have better opportunities in their home countries than they have in the US. We can’t take it for granted that everyone wants to come here; we have to start competing for the best global talent.”
According to ComputerWorld, the legislation will only include degrees from select universities and it will include a cap of 55,000 green cards to be distributed to the individuals per year.