STEM Bill Passed by House


The US House of Representatives last week (November 30) passed the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) immigration bill that will grant green cards for up to 55,000 foreign-born, US-trained graduates every year.

“In a global economy, we cannot afford to educate these foreign graduates in the U.S. and then send them back home to work for our competitors,” said Lamar Smith (R-TX), who sponsored the bill, in a statement. “This legislation will help us create jobs, increase our competitiveness, and spur our innovation.”

To level out the total number of immigrants allowed into the country each year, the legislation will also eliminate a lottery-based program to admit 50,000 people from under-represented countries. That trade-off was the reason only 26 Democrats supported this new bill when it was passed by a margin of 245 to 139 in the House just 2 months after it had been rejected under a regulation that required a two thirds majority vote. The new bill required a simple majority.

Written By: Dan Cossins
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  1.   “In a global economy, we cannot afford to educate these foreign
    graduates in the U.S. and then send them back home to work for our
    competitors,” said Lamar Smith (R-TX), who sponsored the bill, in a

    I thought over-seas students paid for their courses, so I don’t see how “WE” cannot afford to educate them?

    However, their families or business sponsors might have a view on this, if they do not return to the home that paid for their education.

  2. Several things contribute to the quality of education, availability being one of them.  Just because we have some great schools doesn’t mean they’re accessible to everyone.  We trail the world (Europe, Japan, S. Korea more specifically) because a great education isn’t open to everyone. Foreign students are coming to study at MIT and Yale, not your local community college.

    It’s the same thing with healthcare.  Our healthcare system isn’t great because many people can’t afford it.

  3. Andrew B,
    I see your point.  I’d like to add that the grades 1 through 12 are compared globally.  They are not compared fairly.  There are imbalances in tests and recording of scores that allow some countries to claim superiority. Do you think they test the retarded children in China?  We do.

    The US trailing the world in education is a political gambit designed to affect the American voter.  

    Anyway, our discussion seems to be more about college….

  4. The UK education system is experiencing something similar. We are currently undergoing a marketisation of our universities.

    The long term effect this has is to deter low achieving entry (or initially low achieving and late entry mature students) from the home nation as the market contracts to include high grade home nation entry thus creating an attractive market for foreign students who pay – and never fail (by failing a student you lose income generation).

    This also has an effect on the type of courses on offer with many arts/humanities/literature degrees about to disappear.

    We are about to enter a situation where the next generation will be less educated than the last.


  5. aquilacane
    Too true”We didn’t bloody send you to the USA and pay for your education so you could stay there!”

    I’ve been busy this afternoon supervising a (UK) university post-graduate business examination – with the usual Asian and hard-working Chinese contingent of students. – Some rushing off to the airport at the end to fly home!  The “global economy” continues to grow!

    Next week, some of the over-seas undergraduates, will be tested on the preparatory English Language Course, which they do prior to lectures in other subjects.

  6. crookedshoes
    I find it curious that we “trail the world” in education; yet the world comes here for their education.

    I think there is an interesting mixture of standards on this! 

    The STEM Bill is removing part of the previous protectionist restrictions on foreign professionals, which were to reserve US jobs for Americans.

    My daughter had a temporary US work permit as part of an exchange scheme (UK graduates to New York firms,- US graduates to London) which got around the restrictions.

    She did a part-time international business diploma course in New York, and gained a distinction – to add to her UK Law degree – while working for a US law firm on Wall Street. – She had already been told there was no US job at the end of the temporary term (even if she had wanted one).
    She has now added a post-grad English LPC law degree to her qualifications, and is developing her career as a solicitor (lawyer) with an English law firm.

    I can see why US businesses might wish to retain or recruit such people.

    In some sectors the protectionism does not work anyway. – Her twin brother is busy writing a world-wide database management programme for a major US multinational – (working from his office in England).

  7. Well, there’s no shortage of good education in USA. You have the best universities by far. But, they are not for common people. They are for people with means. They are for the rich or the exceptionally talented who get scholarships. It’s all a part of the elitist world-view. Keep the poor uneducated. All talented poor people are to be incorporated with the elitist society so the poor suffer complete brain drain and hence have no way to influence their situation. A very cruel, but quite effective system if your objective is to keep the society segregated!

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