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Government Politics

US House STEM Visa Bill Fails 133

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.'"
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US House STEM Visa Bill Fails

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  • 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): []

    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.

  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Re:Not really (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 21, 2012 @12:15PM (#41412197)
    4.7% unemployment rate also includes the tens of thousands of us that are in "alternative" careers like working at the Gap []. 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 STEM workers and more importantly bills to strictly limit the gross overproduction of STEM graduates by our universities. That and jobs training bills since an advanced degree in science does not put you on a track to gainful employment. Research (public and private) has imploded. Teachers are in year five or so of what is essentially a hiring freeze. Patent law is splitting at the seams with broke and desperate JDs...and PhD/JDs that flooded law school in the late 2000's when pharma collapsed.

    Face it: yesterday's underwater basket weaving degree is today's science Ph.D. Now you'll excuse me as I must go off to work. The lunch rush is starting soon and I am Dr. Burgerflipper, Ph.D.
  • 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.

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