Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Politics

US House STEM Visa Bill Fails 133

Posted by samzenpus
from the go-back-home dept.
dcblogs writes "A Republican-led effort to issue up to 55,000 STEM visas a year to students who earn advanced degrees at U.S. universities was defeated in a House vote. It needed a two-thirds vote, or about 290 ayes, for approval. Its supporters came up short, 257 to 158. Both parties support green cards for science, technology, engineering and math advanced degree grads, but can't agree on legislation. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who has introduced his own STEM bill, urged House leaders to seek new negotiations: 'A bipartisan compromise can easily be ready for the lame duck session. There is too broad a consensus in favor of this policy to settle for gridlock.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

US House STEM Visa Bill Fails

Comments Filter:
  • H1B (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Did they exhaust the H1B limit already?

    • by firex726 (1188453)

      I heard H1B's go pretty fast, often times companies will gobble the vast majority up.

    • by sabri (584428) *

      Did they exhaust the H1B limit already?

      The limit for H1B's for FY2013 was reached on June 11, 2012 [uscis.gov] already. The filing of H1B's for FY2014 will (probably) open up on April 1st, 2013. I'm sure a number of corporations have a few petitions ready to be filed.

  • by schwit1 (797399) on Friday September 21, 2012 @08:10AM (#41409403)

    The bill was brought up under a procedure that limits debate and doesn't allow amendments but requires a two-thirds majority for passage.

    • How does that happen? Is that a provision of how the bill was introduced? Does someone raise a motion?

      Im a little ignorant of how these sorts of things happen, and not exactly sure what to google-- what is this procedure called?

      • It seems every bill needs a 2/3 majority, even if they use the procedure that should only need a simple majority. One guy just threatens a filibuster, and it becomes an 'oh, no, we need a 2/3 majority now to break it'.

        Maybe the rule should be at least changed so that the member who announces a filibuster gets a really hard kick to the groin. Then maybe they'll only do it for the stuff they actually believe in.

        • by guises (2423402)
          Filibuster only applies in the senate, and it's a 3/5 majority to stop a filibuster. Hasn't been 2/3 since 1975.
          • But in 1975 the filibuster was still an endurance test.. Which honestly is kind of a good way of handling the situation. If you have a minority that wants to block something, then they should feel strongly enough about it to stay there and wait out their opponents. If they can't do that, then they didn't care enough about the issue in the first place.
  • Wow! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Alex Belits (437) * on Friday September 21, 2012 @08:18AM (#41409449) Homepage

    So dumb, they can't pass a law that allows smart people to stay in their country WHEN BOTH THEY AND THOSE PEOPLE STILL WANT TO STAY.

    • by epyT-R (613989)

      no they don't.. they'll stay and funnel money back home until the limit expires and they can move back.

  • by Stirling Newberry (848268) on Friday September 21, 2012 @08:19AM (#41409457) Homepage Journal
    The argument is over the green card lottery, Republicans want to end it, the Democrats do not. About 5.5% of all Green Cards are issued based on the lottery. Both Democrats and Republicans want to issue the 55,000 visas, which are targeted at lowering wages of college graduates. So this gridlock is, for the time being, good for most readers of this site.
    • Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

      by voss (52565) on Friday September 21, 2012 @08:30AM (#41409523)

      When smart people with the means to immigrate come to this country Its a benefit to us even to American smart people. The idea
      that immigration depresses wages is based on flawed static economic models. Immigration to the US goes down when unemployment goes up.

      I want you techies to view it this way. When immigrants from asia come to this country they have little asian girls, who grow up to be
      asian hotties who like marrying nerds who produce the holy grail the eurasian hottie who likes nerds.

      More visas now= generations of asian and eurasian hotties for your grandsons(or granddaughters...I support equal rights for lgbt folks)

      • Re:Not really (Score:5, Informative)

        by Stirling Newberry (848268) on Friday September 21, 2012 @08:37AM (#41409579) Homepage Journal
        Your statement is categorically incorrect. STEM visas are employment based, and specifically designed to be better versions of the H1-B Visa, that is, guest worker type employment.

        Immigration doesn't have to depress wages, just as Free Trade doesn't have to, but that is what it is being designed to do. The Democratic bill is marginally better in that it at least as a review of the effects of STEM visas.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          These "STEM visas" are green cards, which allow these people to stay permanently in the US. Although employment is needed for sponsor, they are in no way guest-worker type.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by lorenlal (164133)

        First off... I applaud you sir. This post made my morning that much better. Thank you.

        Secondly, with the immigration of STEM folks, I'd be willing to bet that many of these workers will demand comparable wages, because they know what the market is offering and there is a cost of living here to do those jobs. We can look at short term costs, and experience, and say that there are some otherwise perfectly capable geeks here who are still looking for jobs... And there are. The thing is... STEM unemploymen

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          4.7% unemployment rate also includes the tens of thousands of us that are in "alternative" careers like working at the Gap [nypost.com]. There is lower unemployment for programmers. Take them out of the STEM group and the un/underemployment rate is deep into the double digits. Defeat of this bill is an extremely good thing. We already have tens of thousands of STEM workers with advanced degrees and years of experience who are long term unemployed. We need instead the crafting of bills to deport excess foreign STE
          • by lorenlal (164133)

            That is totally fair. I do not know what STEM employment would be if programmers are excluded. If I remember right, there is something like 30% unemployment for people with a Ph.D. in Math, but I do not know what the figure is... I'm having a hard time finding a real number too... I know.. Irony.

            I don't think the outcome of this bill would have had much effect on people on the level of a Ph D. My understanding is most of these Visas are for folks in the Bachelor/Masters range (which means these workers

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I disagree that this benefits America or Americans. I think it further reduces wages and increases competition in a very small field, which de-incentivizes Americans, but is still attractive to Asians who still see it as a step up. The reality is we have too MANY techies, mostly operating beneath their potential because what we actually need are a large number of technologically educated MBAs, an even larger number of technicians but a very small number of STEM types.

        But trade schools in the US are sneered

        • Regardless of the effect on wages, I personally believe that hoarding the smart people of the world is a definite long term positive. If I had my way I'd allow unlimited immigration for anyone who could demonstrate high level skill in any field.

          Perhaps it'd depress wages for high skill jobs, but I suspect it would also lead to an explosion of innovation in all fields.
      • by epyT-R (613989)

        When smart people with the means to immigrate come to this country Its a benefit to us even to American smart people.

        No, they're competitors. There aren't enough 'smart people' jobs to go around.

        The idea that immigration depresses wages is based on flawed static economic models.

        Says who? The crapola I've read suggests there's a lot of disagreement here, most of which correlates with party lines. That doesn't bode well for ANY of the studies.

        I want you techies to view it this way. When immigrants from asia come to this country they have little asian girls, who grow up to be
        asian hotties who like marrying nerds who produce the holy grail the eurasian hottie who likes nerds.

        So it's alright if these American 'techies' get their asses canned for cheap asian labor because they'll have access to asian pussy? Wow, that's pathetic.

        • The number of jobs isn't fixed. Let in the startup/small business entrepreneurs and the number of jobs increases. There's a reason why the unemployment rate doesn't reach 50% when the size of the population doubles.
          • by epyT-R (613989)

            New jobs come from demand.. how can demand increase when the population buying the goods is supplanted? Right now there are already more available workers than there are jobs.. Bringing in immigrants to train at our universities instead of training out of work americans to take these jobs isn't right.

    • by kenj0418 (230916) on Friday September 21, 2012 @08:37AM (#41409577)

      I agree than any additional 'supply' will lower the average wage. But I'd rather be competing against 55,000 green card holders, who can negotiate fairly with their employers for a competitive wage than completing against 55,000 H1B workers who are (mostly) tied to a single employer and have a significant disadvantage in any salary/etc. negotiation.

      So does one of the parties want to eliminate/reduce the H1B visas and replace them with green cards? Because if so, then I support them on this.

      • by flyingsquid (813711) on Friday September 21, 2012 @08:55AM (#41409705)

        I agree than any additional 'supply' will lower the average wage.

        That's not necessarily the case. You're assuming that with more people, everyone has to get a smaller slice of the pie. But the size of the pie isn't fixed. People willing to uproot themselves and their families to go halfway around the world tend to be motivated and they tend to be risk-takers. That means they start businesses at a much higher rate than native-born Americans. A recent study found that immigrants are 13% of the population, but 18% of the small business owners. They employed $4.7 million people in 2007. Some of the companies founded by immigrants become big companies as well... Sergei Brin, who was born in the USSR, founded this thing called Google you may have heard of. Immigrants are innovators as well- think of Tesla, Einstein, von Braun. So when you recruit the best and brightest the world has to offer, the technologies and companies these people found will make the economy stronger, and that will increase the number and quality of jobs.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Your argument is based on the ASSUMPTION that these people will start businesses. Most of these people will work for existing corporations, not start their own businesses. Thus they will be reducing the number of jobs not increasing them.

          The other obvious problem; THEY'RE VISAS! Once the visa expires they have to leave the country.

          Moron.
          • Your argument is based on the ASSUMPTION that these people will start businesses. Most of these people will work for existing corporations, not start their own businesses. Thus they will be reducing the number of jobs not increasing them.

            Thats not necessarily true. If the companies are helped to succeed by their employees, more jobs tend to be created by those companies.

        • So when you recruit the best and brightest the world has to offer, the technologies and companies these people found will make the economy stronger, and that will increase the number and quality of jobs

          You free-market conservatives make a strong case for growth economies, but my mommy and daddy said that if I do as you say and start voting against the Republicans, baby Jesus will cry.

    • by Rockoon (1252108) on Friday September 21, 2012 @08:44AM (#41409617)
      I think the Republican idea is that the Diversity Lottery is based on bad reasoning to begin with.

      The Diversity Lottery gives priority to people from countries that have low rates of immigration to the U.S.

      Forget about the "intent" of this lottery for a moment and instead consider what it actually does.. it gives priority to someone from France over someone from Mexico or China, and its simply because fewer people from France want to come and work here. Mexicans and Chinese are not allowed in the Diversity Lottery because more than 50,000 of each have immigrated in the past 5 years, a statistic that disallows them from even entering the lottery.

      Here is the list of countries ineligible for DV2013 (according to Wikipedia):

      Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

      This new law would re-target the Diversity Visa's to give priority to people with advanced degrees, instead of to people from the 'right' country. What do Democrats have against people from the above listed countries? That is, essentially, what they are arguing.. that something is wrong with those people.
      • From http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/imm_us_vis_lot_win-immigration-us-visa-lottery-winners [nationmaster.com]

        Showing latest available data. Rank Countries Amount
        # 1 Nigeria: 7,145 US visa lottery winners
        # 2 Ghana: 7,040 US visa lottery winners
        # 3 Ethiopia: 6,353 US visa lottery winners
        # 4 Kenya: 5,721 US visa lottery winners
        # 5 Poland: 5,467 US visa lottery winners
        # 6 Bangladesh: 5,126 US vis

        • Does anyone what these people do after coming to the US? Are they instantly eligible for food stamps, social security benefits, medicare/medicaid, unemployment etc. ?

          • I hope so. I could have used those things immediately when I lived abroad. You start contributing to the economy immediately. That sort of thing encourages people to stick around, and not just any people -- it takes some determination, intelligence, and luck to move to a different country.

            I've had the shoe on the other foot. You should try it sometime. Things look very different.

          • by TheSync (5291) on Friday September 21, 2012 @01:57PM (#41413347) Journal

            Does anyone what these people do after coming to the US? Are they instantly eligible for food stamps, social security benefits, medicare/medicaid, unemployment etc. ?

            1) You generally need to work for one year before you can get unemployment benefits for being laid off.

            2) You are eligible for premium-free Part Medicare A if you are age 65 or older and you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.

            3) The Affordable Care Act of 2010, signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010, creates a national Medicaid minimum eligibility level of 133% of the federal poverty level ($29,700 for a family of four in 2011) for nearly all Americans under age 65. This Medicaid eligibility expansion goes into effect on January 1, 2014. Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for Medicaid regardless of their income, and legal immigrants who have resided in the U.S. for less than five years are also not eligible, though states have the option of extending Medicaid coverage to legal immigrant children and pregnant women who are in the 5-year waiting period.

            4) For Social Security, most qualified aliens are ineligible for SSI until they become U.S. citizens. Moreover, a worker must have 10 years of Social Security-covered employment to be eligible for retirement benefits.

            5) Non-citizens like tourists and students are generally not eligible for SNAP (food stamps). Non-citizens who must meet an additional condition need only meet ONE of the following conditions to be eligible for SNAP: 5 years of residence, 10 years of work, children under 18, blind or disabled, elderly born on or before 8-22-31 who lawfully resided in the U.S. on 8-22-96, or active duty in the military.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Friday September 21, 2012 @09:33AM (#41410085) Homepage Journal

      the 55,000 visas, which are targeted at lowering wages of college graduates.

      See, those college grads are the last segment of society wherein somebody who comes from a lower-class family can make it into solidly middle-class or better category.

      The ultimate goal of our overlords is to end social mobility.]

      A year before Ronald Reagan took office, the United States was #1 in the world in social mobility, meaning the possibility that a person born in one class could move up in his lifetime. Today, the United States is #31 among OECD nations.

      Yes, our overlords want to lower the wages of college grads. When people from lower classes achieve social mobility, they gain political power. When that happens, it's like someone dropped a turd in the overlords' infinity swimming pool.

      Ronald Reagan changed America. Yes he did. And now, if you actually work for a living, you are either fucked or about to be fucked. Because we've had 30+ years of uninterrupted Reagan economic policies.

      • by TheSync (5291)

        A year before Ronald Reagan took office, the United States was #1 in the world in social mobility, meaning the possibility that a person born in one class could move up in his lifetime. Today, the United States is #31 among OECD nations.

        You should look at this cohort study [mitpressjournals.org]:

        Previous studies of recent U.S. trends in intergenerational income mobility have produced widely varying results, partly because of large sampling errors. By making more efficient use of the available information in the Panel Study of Inc

        • by PopeRatzo (965947)

          The problem is that people recognize and laud individual kindness, but fail to recognize the systemic evil they participate in.

          That's right, the big drop in social mobility started for the kids born right about then.

          During the Carter years, even with a somewhat stagnant economy, you still had a great deal of mobility. The effects of the Reagan years starts hitting those born in the 70's. Understand, "social mobility" means if you're born at the low end of the economic scale, you have a chance to move up,

          • by TheSync (5291)

            58 percent of the households in the lowest income quintile in 1996 moved to a higher category by 2005.(data here) [stlouisfed.org]. I don't see the problem.

            I make a ton more than my father, and was born around 1970.

    • Seems to me-- ignorant, non-elected individual that I am-- that the thing to do would be to pass the thing everyone agrees upon (so as not to continue pissing off the constituency), and argue about the other stuff later.

      I mean, we could also just lump all of the years issues into one gigantic Megabill, and argue about it for the next 10 years, but that seems counterproductive. But thats just me.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Friday September 21, 2012 @08:19AM (#41409459)
    If you pass this bill don't fall into the same trap as the UK. Only allow degrees accredited by Universities with a proven academic record, and not any "overseas branches". Even reputable Universities can be tempted by overseas operations [telegraph.co.uk], and it is much harder to deal with after the event after the event [bbc.co.uk].
    • If you pass this bill don't fall into the same trap as the UK. Only allow degrees accredited by Universities with a proven academic record, and not any "overseas branches". Even reputable Universities can be tempted by overseas operations [telegraph.co.uk], and it is much harder to deal with after the event after the event [bbc.co.uk].

      I realised that it might not be obvious what I'm talking about. Some "low end" educational establishments just become a means to buy a visa rather than teaching the students to any reasonable degree.

  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday September 21, 2012 @08:19AM (#41409467)

    Now where are they going to find those rare Java programmers who will work at "reasonable" rates?

  • Possibly relevant (Score:5, Informative)

    by ryzvonusef (1151717) on Friday September 21, 2012 @08:32AM (#41409541) Journal

    An analysis of whom the US lets in, versus other countries (Short article, has two infographics):

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/08/27/160110929/immigration-who-the-u-s-lets-in-and-why [npr.org]

    Spoiler:
    The short answer: The U.S. mostly lets in family members of people who are already in this country. Other developed countries focus much more on letting in workers.

    • by fermion (181285) on Friday September 21, 2012 @11:03AM (#41411251) Homepage Journal
      So we want to transfer who we let in from families to those who will maximize profits for business. I suppose this is a tough choice for conservatives. Are we here to be family focused, or are we here because corporations are people.

      The reality is that in America we must protect the family, and we must realize that the business of America is bidness. This is why I thought the dream act made so much sense. We have kids who have gone through a US education system, and who are ready for college or trade school. In many schools they are receiving very good SEM prep educations, and they are very motivated to study. If they finish college and get a job, why not let them stay. Why does it make more sense to import adults?

      Here is my theory on the current status. Talking to am executive at a major multinational, it seems the H!B was primarily used for multinationals to assign workers, often temporarily, to the US, and but winter and summer resorts to gain skilled employees, usually ski instructors and the like. It boomed with IT looking for skilled workers and realizing that H1B visa workers were cheaper and in effect became indentured servants for the length of the time it took them to get a green card. This is the same thing with teach for america. Two years of guaranteed work without complaint, then leaving before one is vested.

  • Missing from summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by necro81 (917438) on Friday September 21, 2012 @08:33AM (#41409549) Journal
    Missing from the summary, which would help explain why the bill failed, was the fact that the 55,000 greencards for STEM would be taken from the pool that is used for granting greencards (by lottery) to people in other countries that just want to come to the U.S. In other words, in trying to retain these students, the Republicans wanted to sharply reduce the number of just-plain-ordinary immigrants coming from, say, Ghana, Poland, and Brazil. Competing legislation would have left the greencard lottery pool intact, and simply allocated a new block of 55,000 greencards specifically for advanced degree recipients.
  • So, Republicans are so accustomed to blocking or voting down bills in the house that they have ended this bill that they themselves have started. How ironic.

    • What makes you think that the Republicans blocked this bill?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        What makes you think that the Republicans blocked this bill?

        The Congressional record.

        I'll explain it to you, since it's not immediately obvious. This bill was introduced by the GOP, and they waited until the Suspension Calendar to submit it. This means instead of the normal number of votes needed to pass, which they easily had, it requires a 2/3's majority, which they do not have. The bulk of the bill matches what the Dems wanted, but they made sure to include some things which they knew the Dems would not vote for. Specifically, it takes visas away from the "lotter

        • I think that's a very fair assessment of the situation, but that's not the Republicans /blocking/ the bill. That's the Republicans introducing a bill that is neither capable of nor intended to pass. There's a difference there and to claim this is Republicans blocking the bill /or/ Democrats blocking the bill is to do a disservice to the citizens because the connotations associated are then wrong.

          Also, it takes away from the Diversity Lottery, which is an odd lottery among the visas since it gives visas to

  • Fucking insane (Score:3, Insightful)

    by acoustix (123925) on Friday September 21, 2012 @09:02AM (#41409773) Homepage

    We have high unemployment. We have had over 48 straight months of our labor force participation rate falling. We have also had a record number of people in college or go back to college in the last 3 years.

    Why are we trying to bring in MORE PEOPLE that will take jobs away from US CITIZENS???

    Jesus tap dancing Christ!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cigarra (652458)
      Because those people (highly skilled / educated immigrants) just happen to also CREATE more jobs [usnews.com] than your beloved "US CITIZENS". So in the long run, even lazy asses who only complain about "they taking errr jerbs" get to benefit as well.
      • You haven't met this people have you...these are STEM jobs douche bag. Which means they will work for a corporation not start one. Having a STEM degree doesn't mean you have financial means or business knowledge to start a business.
        • by Urza9814 (883915)

          ...and having an MBA you may have the business knowledge but that doesn't mean shit if you don't have a product to sell...

          Point being, it doesn't matter what the degree is, either way you're going to need some extra knowledge. Just because you have a degree that implies you can actually build shit doesn't mean you can't possibly know how to make a business from it. Personally I'd say it puts you in a better place than someone with a business degree, because then you can actually have a product or at least p

        • by TheSync (5291)

          these are STEM jobs douche bag. Which means they will work for a corporation not start one. Having a STEM degree doesn't mean you have financial means or business knowledge to start a business.

          Immigrant business founders tended to be highly educated - 96% held bachelor's degrees and 74% held graduate or postgraduate degrees, with 75% of these degrees in STEM fields (i.e. your "douche bags").

          The vast majority of these company founders didn't come to the United States as entrepreneurs - 52% came to study, 40%

    • Why are we [allowing] MORE PEOPLE that will take jobs away from US CITIZENS???

      FTFY.

      The answer: because this is America, and freedom is more important than whatever it is that the Central Committee is telling today, you about their economic plan.

      If you don't like American ideals, then go back to Cuba or North Korea. I don't know why you ever applied for your green card at all.

  • I have so much sympathy for them. They have a significant majority in the house, so they shouldn't need to write a bill that makes any concessions to anyone who isn't in their party, should they? Clearly it is fine to write a bill just for your own kin and ignore the concerns of everyone else - you can always blame them if it doesn't pass.

    After all, your election was all about you, not about the rest of the country.

    And thank you, samzenpus, for again providing a pro-conservative bit on the front pag
  • If you have no criminal record, and you want to come into this country, you should be allowed to. After being here for 2 years without legal incident or financial failure (you're not living off welfare) you should be allowed to apply to become a citizen. After 2 more years of no run-ins with the law, you should get full citizenship. Period.

    All these ridiculous visas for the rich, or if you're smart are just stupid. Illegal immigration is stupid. It should be easy to get here if you're a good person, plain a
  • Here are the list of 3 bills proposed by different politicians. Each of them have advantages and disadvantages in their own reasons.

    Bill from Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) -- http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9231276/Republicans_ready_STEM_Jobs_Act_ [computerworld.com]

    - Replace DV lottery program with STEM visa
    - Only those who obtained a doctorate or master degree from a U.S. university (or those who obtained a doctorate from a foreign university) are eligible, including courses/programs taking from online
    - Allow th

  • Someone remind, what's wrong with employing all the desperately unemployed STEM citizens with advanced degrees already in the US? There are plenty of STEM grads with masters and phds who are willing to settle for low wages just to get a foot in the door and have some experience to put on a resume. If the people who are born here are really so bad, why not just move all those companies (or at least STEM operations) to someplace "preferable" and take cost of living out of the equation entirely?

"The Street finds its own uses for technology." -- William Gibson

Working...