Despite Lack of Democratic Support, House Approves STEM Jobs Act

By Catherine Groux
Posted December 03, 2012 03:00 PM

The U.S. House recently approved the STEM Jobs Act.
The U.S. House recently approved the STEM Jobs Act.
On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the Republican-sponsored STEM Jobs Act, a bill that would allocate up to 55,000 green cards to foreign students who graduate from U.S. colleges with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

"In an ever-competitive global economy, we must keep our country as the world's greatest source of innovation and creativity," the House's website states."The STEM Jobs Act allows employers to fill their talent needs with foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in STEM so that they can continue creating jobs and growing our economy."

While the bill won overwhelming Republican support, it was largely rejected by House Democrats, who were disenchanted by the fact that the bill eliminates the Diversity Visa Program, Fox News reports. This program sets aside visas for individuals coming from foreign countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S.

To make up for the loss of the Diversity Visa Program, House Republicans added a provision to the STEM Jobs Act that allows spouses and young children of legal permanent residents to come to the U.S. after waiting one year for their green card applications to be processed. However, Democrats were not convinced, and are therefore expected to turn down the bill when it reaches the Senate.

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