SOTU FACT: House-Passed STEM Bill Blocked by Senate Democrats

| February 13 2013
CLAIM: Highly-skilled foreign-born workers should be allowed to stay in the U.S. rather than be expelled from the country.
  • “Real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy, and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy.” (President Obama, State of the Union Address, February 12, 2013)

FACT: Senate Democrats blocked a House-passed bill to fix part of our broken immigration system by allowing highly-skilled foreign-born workers – trained in America in science, technology, engineering, and math – to stay in the United States.

  • “Each year our colleges and universities graduate approximately 40,000 foreign nationals with Masters and PhDs, many of whom are then forced to leave the country because there are not enough visa slots in our immigration system to permit them to stay,” said Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) recently. “Last year, the House passed the bipartisan STEM Jobs Act which helped fix this problem. We will act again in this Congress, and we hope the Senate chooses to join us this time.”
  • The House of Representatives passed the STEM Jobs Act (H.R. 6429) on November 30, 2012 (roll call 613). Senate Democrats never put it to a vote.
  • The Heritage Foundation says the bipartisan STEM Jobs Act “would allocate 55,000 visas toward high-skilled immigrants holding master’s or doctoral degrees from U.S. educational institutions.”
  • According to Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) office, 52 percent of all startups were founded by immigrants and employ more than 500,000 people.

BOEHNER QUOTE: “Our top priority is getting our economy moving and creating new jobs. The STEM Act makes common-sense changes to our broken immigration system to help ensure American employers have access to the world’s brightest minds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The bill allows highly-skilled, foreign-born workers – trained in American universities – to stay here in the United States with their families where they can drive innovation and new job creation.” (House-Passed Jobs Bill to Help Highly-Skilled Workers Stay in America, 11/30/12)

 

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