“I rise in support of this STEM Jobs Act. Clearly the focus on this provision is to try to bring people with skills here to the U.S. Graduates of American universities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – these STEM fields are behind many of the innovations, many of the new businesses that are part of our present and future economic growth.
“If we want to look at jobs this is where those new patents, those new ideas, will come from that help create jobs. We have talented students from around the world that contribute to the graduate STEM programs of our universities.
“We are trying to focus on a way to make sure our immigration system puts our interests first as a country. We have the most generous level of legal immigration in the world, but we select only five percent of our immigrants based on the skills and education they bring to America.
“Foreign graduates of U.S. universities in the STEM fields are in such great demand here, but many of them end up on years-long green card waiting lists. As a result, many of them give up and go to work for one of our global competitors. This bill alters our current immigration system to encourage job creation by increasing the proportion of new entrants with high levels of education, with high levels of skills.
“We know that skilled immigrants contribute mightily to the rising U.S. standard of living - they bring capital, they bring new ideas, they produce new companies. With this bill we can help grow innovation, we can create jobs in this country. We’ve got plenty of examples in California of IT firms that are founded by immigrants from China and India that were educated here in our institutions.
“The legislation also contains a family reunification provision which allows graduates’ spouses and children to live in the U.S. while waiting for their green card application to be processed.
“Additionally, green cards will be rolled over every year for the next four years to make sure they all are used. We believe that more of them will be used than under the diversity lottery where they’re not rolled over. In fact, we focus on exactly the type of skilled immigration that’s most likely to create jobs here in the U.S.
“I urge my colleagues to support this bill in order to help our economy grow.”