A Republican bill, named the STEM Jobs Act, will come to a vote today that would grant 55,000 US permanent resident visas, otherwise known as green cards, to foreign nationals who graduate from US colleges with advanced degrees in the technology fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The bill is expected to pass in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. However, it seems likely the bill will die in the Democrat-led Senate. Democrats oppose the bill because they say it will offset the new STEM green cards by doing away with the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program that grants immigrant visas to foreign nationals of mostly African nations, which normally have low US immigration rates.
Republicans say the STEM Act is designed to stop foreign national graduates of US colleges from leaving the United States to take jobs abroad. The goal of the Act, Republicans say, is to keep highly skilled talent in the US in order to create jobs, spark innovation, and boost the ability of the US to compete in the world job market.
A similar STEM Act bill failed to pass the House in September since it required a two thirds majority vote. Today’s bill was created to fall under a different procedure that requires only a simple majority to pass.
It would seem that the GOP Republican Party desperately wants to prove to the Latino community that it is pro-immigration and seeks to reach out to Hispanics. Republicans even introduced a newer DREAM Act bill in the Senate this week that in some ways looks similar to the Obama administration’s new DACA policy.