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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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  • 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)

  • 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 @08:38AM (#41409581)

    If they cant agree on something as trivial as this, it appears that stopping this freight train before reaching fiscal cliff is a very real impossibility.

    Perhaps. But before people go blaming Congress for all the problems with government, consider that congressmen, for the most part, are just doing whatever it takes to get re-elected. The Tea Partiers, for example, were elected on the promise that they wouldn't compromise, wouldn't work with the other side, and wouldn't let the Democrats and Obama ever accomplish anything. And they've lived up to those promises.

    The American people are as much to blame as anyone. We constantly demonize the other side and our politics are increasingly polarized, we have special TV programs and web sites that reflect our own biased worldview back at us, and we elect people based on this worldview. Then we act surprised and disappointed when the people we elect can't ever get any legislation passed.

  • 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.

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Friday September 21, 2012 @08:58AM (#41409747)

    This is trivial?
    Bringing cheap workers to replace the only jobs not yet outsourced is a trivial thing?

  • Fucking insane (Score:3, Insightful)

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

    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!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 21, 2012 @09:25AM (#41409999)

    Don't you hate it when politicians do what they said they would?

  • by JackieBrown ( 987087 ) on Friday September 21, 2012 @09:29AM (#41410045)

    Well, when the other side shows you nothing but disdain and resorts to constant name calling (tea baggers) for 3 years, what compromises do you expect to be reached? Honestly, the only compromise the democrats seem willing to do is with the more "conservative" democrats.

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

  • Re:Not really (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lorenlal ( 164133 ) on Friday September 21, 2012 @09:40AM (#41410169)

    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 unemployment as of June is 4.7% (assuming college degree, YMMV), which is pretty darn near what those economic models call "full employment." It sounds to me like the benefit of bringing in more geeks (like having a more educated society, more demand for arts, spending power, and those eurasian hotties on the horizon) would do more help for the economy than harm.

    I might be biased too though... After all... parent did put forth a convincing argument.

  • Re:Fucking insane (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cigarra ( 652458 ) on Friday September 21, 2012 @09:40AM (#41410175)
    Because those people (highly skilled / educated immigrants) just happen to also CREATE more jobs [] 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.
  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Friday September 21, 2012 @09:46AM (#41410289)

    The American people are as much to blame as anyone.

    Oh, don't worry: I hold them in even lower estimation than anyone elected to congress. Thing is I have no way of controlling them or voting them out. A hoard of ignorant fellow voters is a constant, the elected on the other hand can sometimes be changed for the better.

  • by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Friday September 21, 2012 @09:58AM (#41410443)

    Don't you hate it when politicians do what they said they would?

    Well, that is the opposite of what we generally expect them to do.

  • by oh_my_080980980 ( 773867 ) on Friday September 21, 2012 @10:04AM (#41410545)
    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.

  • by mx+b ( 2078162 ) on Friday September 21, 2012 @11:02AM (#41411219)

    The Daily Show the other night had a funny little piece where they talked to republicans and democrats at the national conventions to ask them how to overcome gridlock. It results in an orgy of insults directed at the other party, from both sides, that amused me pretty well.

    I know it is a comedy show and perhaps can't be taken too seriously, but having family spread out between both parties, I can say it was fairly accurate in my experience. Both sides want to say that the world would be a magical fairy land if only the other side wasn't made up of complete jackasses that are only out to fuck up the plans of the other party.

    In sum: yes, Tea Party has been made fun of it. But how did the Tea Party start? There's a constant bashing of Obama as a socialist and democrats as wanting to propogate a lazy welfare state. O-bum-a, Commrade Obama, I've heard it all. Name calling is on both sides, and is the main problem with our gridlock. There are groups in each party that are so desperately out to smear the other side that we never get a real debate. Personally, I do not agree with much of what the republican platform says this time around, but there is an important difference between not agreeing and going out of my way to insult people of the other party. I am sure that the majority of common people in each party (many politicians excluded) absolutely mean well for the country, and believe their platform really will be best. No secret agenda to give money to lazy welfare queens, or give tax breaks to rich people. The majority of voters aren't thinking that; they are thinking, what plan seems best to get the country going again?

    When the everyday people recognize this, that just because the other approximately half of the country doesn't vote the same as you DOES NOT mean they are unpatriotic jackasses out to ruin the country, then perhaps we can get somewhere. But this is going to have to be a team effort from both parties. And I am sad to say that the current older generations of the country seem to prefer the gridlock and blame, or at least are stuck in this idea that "that's the way it is". I hope this will change with the younger generations as they start taking over congressional seats.

  • 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.

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.