December 04, 2012
economic growth and encouraging jobs outlook is due, in part, to
expansion of the technology industry along the Wasatch Front. Names such as
eBay, Omniture, Oracle and Microsoft are among the 7,000 high-tech,
life science and clean technology companies that operate facilities here.
Many of the business leaders I meet with stress the importance of a
skilled, well-educated workforce, including college graduates with
advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or math
Innovators want and need to hire the best and the brightest,
including those immigrants who came to the U.S. to study and earn their
academic degrees and would remain here to work but for a dysfunctional
federal immigration system. There has long been bipartisan support for
an expedited process to grant legal status to immigrant students
holding advanced degrees. Despite general agreement on the need to
increase the number of visas available, until now there has been no agreement
on how to make that happen.
I supported legislation passed
by the House (H.R.
6429) that creates a new STEM visa program. Foreign students who
earn advanced degrees in these areas from U.S. colleges and
universities could remain here to work in those fields. The bill provides
55,000 visas by eliminating an existing but inadequate program and
reallocating its currently allotted visas. Employers wishing to
fill a job position with a STEM visa candidate would submit a job order
to their state labor department.
We want the smartest
people in the world to study and work in the U.S. Our companies
compete more effectively in the global economy. As always, I’m
interested in your opinion. Please reply to the short survey
District of Utah