The Bill to provide permanent resident visas for foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields passed at the U.S House of Representatives lower chamber today, November 30th 2012.
The STEM Bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Lamar Smith (Texas), and approval of this bill would increase the amount of green cards available to STEM doctorate and master’s degree holders by up to 55,000 per year.
This bill failed earlier in September before the elections and the decision then was to reproduce it after the elections and that’s why it was again voted at the House today and the lower chamber voted 245-139 to pass the bill.
This bill’s approval would be decided at the Senate soon. The future of this bill is decided by the Senate, which is controlled by the democrats. So,
The Bill still needs to be approved at the Senate!
Democrats vs. Republicans
With the current scenario, democrats and republicans both agree to increase the number of work visas to the immigrants but they have different opinions on how to make this happen. Republicans suggested removing the visa diversity program, which is a lottery program to give away green cards and instead give those green cards to the advanced degree STEM graduates.
But, Democrats believe that the visa diversity program is very important and would lower the immigration strengths if not continued. They do agree and know the importance and necessity of increasing the number of immigrant visas (providing green cards) to STEM graduates, but not at the cost of the visa diversity program.
What to Expect?
The Legislation faces an uncertain future in the Senate. The Democratic-controlled Senate might likely ignore the House STEM bill in the waning days of the current congressional session.
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