STEM Visa Bill Defeated in Congress but Debate Goes On

One of the most talked about measures to improve the competitiveness of the United States in the area of technology and innovation is the STEM Jobs Bill. On September 20th, the bill, put forth by Republican Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas, was defeated in the House, failing to receive two thirds of the votes.

The Bill would enable 55,000 students with a doctorate or a master’s degree in one of the STEM subjects to apply for a Green Card upon graduation. If enacted, the STEM Jobs Bill would have discontinued the Diversity Visa Program, or Green Card Lottery, which currently allocates 55,000 Green Cards to people from countries with low levels of immigration to the United States. The Bill was struck down mostly by Democrats unwilling to eliminate the Diversity Visa Program. Two more bills are on the table, one by Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren of California, the other by Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. Both of these bills aim to keep the Diversity Visa Program alive while introducing the STEM Visa program simultaneously.

Politicians on both sides, as well as heads of industry all agree that something needs to be done in order to not lose highly educated workers to other countries. Without the ability to stay and work in the United States, these foreign students are forced to leave and end up working for companies overseas. These students are especially important to the future of the US economy because of the low rates of American students who decide to go in to science and engineering, only about 5% of graduates.

Solving the issue of talent leaving the US will be essential in order to ensure America’s continual success in leading the world in technology and innovation in the 21st century. If Congress can manage to cooperate across the aisle and reach a compromise, the STEM Jobs Bill would supply hi-tech companies with much needed workers and boost the US economy.

Progress is being made, but a lot more has to be done in order for the United States to reverse the current trend of lagging behind other countries in competitiveness. Ultimately, the problem of American students lacking interest in studying science and engineering has to be tackled in order to ensure future prosperity.

Posted by: Samuel Benka

Sources: Forbes, Politico, The Huffington Post

Photo Credit: US Capitol Courtesy of Flickr user katieharbath

You Are Invited: Universities, High-skilled Immigration, and Regulatory Reform: Implications for America’s Economic Future

The Program on America and the Global Economy (PAGE) Presents:

 

Universities, High-skilled Immigration, and Regulatory Reform: Implications for America’s Economic Future

 

Friday, July 13, 2012

12:00 – 1:15 p.m.

B-369 Rayburn House Office Building

________________________________________________________________________        

Speakers:

 Joseph Kennedy, Former Chief Economist, US Department of Commerce

Karthick Ramakrishnan, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California Riverside and Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow

 Jim Woodell, Director of Innovation and Technology Policy, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities

 Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy

 ________________________________________________________________________

 A panel of experts will discuss key aspects of the Start-Up Act with a special focus on the provisions designed to accelerate the commercialization of university research, the regulating of start-up companies, and the broadening of opportunities for temporary immigrants with post-graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to eventually quality for permanent residency visas.

________________________________________________________________________

Please RSVP acceptances only to page@wilsoncenter.org

 

 

Posted by: PAGE Staff

You Are Invited: The Start-Up Act 2.0 and American Innovation

The Program on America and the Global Economy Presents:

 The Start-Up Act 2.0 and American Innovation

 Thursday, June 28, 2012

9:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Joseph and Claire Flom Auditorium, 6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

 ________________________________________________________________________        

 Keynote:

 Senator Chris Coons, Delaware

 Panelists:

 Michael Waring, Executive Director, Federal Relations, The University of Michigan

 Joseph Kennedy, Former Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Commerce

 Peter Mueller, Director, Government Relations, Intel Corporation

 Moderator:

 Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy

 ________________________________________________________________________

 Senator Chris Coons is part of a bipartisan group of Senators that recently introduced the Startup Act 2.0 in the Senate.  He will provide a keynote address on the Act followed by a panel discussion that will focus on key aspects of the Start-Up Act 2.0.  There will be a special focus on the provisions designed to accelerate the commercialization of university research, the broadening of opportunities for temporary immigrants with post-graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for visas for permanent residency, and the proposal to assess the impact of regulations.

________________________________________________________________________

 

Please RSVP acceptances only to page@wilsoncenter.org

Directions to the Wilson Center: www.wilsoncenter.org/directions

Immigration Lessons From Our Northern Neighbor?

True or False: Canada has a higher foreign-born population, per capita, than the United States?  Surprisingly, it’s true and it speaks to the lessons the U.S. might learn on how to integrate immigrants into their economies.

While the United States has long had the image around the world as the refuge of the “tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning”, its increasingly arcane and complex immigration system is coming under fire as inefficient in a global economy where labor, just as much as capital, is flowing freely across borders.  More business leaders and policymakers are arguing that immigrants, especially those with in demand skills, are needed to fuel economic growth.

Canada has already caught on to this trend and is taking advantage of gaps in the American system.  Look no further than canadavisa.com, where one of the main links is for foreigners in America on a H1-B or temporary work visa and how they can be fast tracked for Canadian immigration.  Canada, of course offers many of the same things to immigrants the U.S. does: a high standard of living, an advanced economy, rule of law, peace and safety.  In addition, Canada has made a concerted effort to use immigration to directly fill gaps in its labor force, something the US has yet to do.  To determine who is granted a permanent visa, Canada has a simple point system that awards points for things like level of education, occupational skills, language ability, and others factors relevant to productivity.  Only 22% of its immigration was for family reasons (i.e. reuniting mothers with children, brothers with sisters, etc.) while about two thirds of all permanent visas were granted for economic reasons.  In the U.S., the inverse is true: Only 13% of green cards last year were doled out for economic reasons, while two-thirds were for family reunions.

The StartUp Act 2.0, currently being deliberated in both houses of Congress, contains provisions that shift the immigration paradigm in the U.S. towards a more economic view.  The Act would create a new visa for immigrants who graduate from U.S. universities with a master’s degree or doctorate in STEM fields and also create an entrepreneur’s visa to enable immigrants with capital to start businesses and create jobs in the U,S,, rather than returning home to do it.

The U.S. faces both demographic changes (aging and shrinking labor force) and economic forces (e.g. a shortage of STEM workers) that can be solved by a smart immigration policy.  As of now, the US is educating and accepting intelligent and hard-working immigrants temporarily, who are then forced to either return home or go to a country like Canada, where they create jobs and contribute to growth.

Posted by: Sean Norris

Sources: CNN, The Christian Science Monitor, The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette

Photo Credit: Citizenship Ceremony courtesy of flickr user mars_discovery_district

TOMORROW- You are Invited and Live Webcast-The Start-up Act: Building America’s Entrepreneurial Future

The Program on America and the Global Economy Presents:

 The Start-up Act: Building America’s Entrepreneurial Future

 Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Joseph and Claire Flom Auditorium, 6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

________________________________________________________________________        

 8:30 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast

 9:00-9:45 a.m.

Keynote Address:

Senator Jerry Moran, Kansas

Senator Mark Warner, Virginia

 9:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

 Panel Discussion:

Paula Collins, Vice President, Government Relations, Texas Instruments Incorporated

Toby Smith, Vice President for Policy, Association of American Universities

Audrey Singer, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

 Moderated by: Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy

 ________________________________________________________________________

Senators Warner and Moran will discuss key components of their Start-up Act, which they authored and introduced.  A panel discussion will follow with an examination of the prospects of accelerating the commercialization of university research, increasing opportunities for immigrants with advanced STEM (science, technology, engineering, and Mathematics) degrees and adding a STEM category for immigrant investors seeking permanent residence.

 ________________________________________________________________________

Please RSVP acceptances only to page@wilsoncenter.org

Watch the live webcast here.

Directions to the Wilson Center: www.wilsoncenter.org/directions

Live Webcast April 24–The Start-up Act: Building America’s Entrepreneurial Future

 The Program on America and the Global Economy Presents:

 The Start-up Act: Building America’s Entrepreneurial Future

 Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Joseph and Claire Flom Auditorium, 6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

________________________________________________________________________        

 8:30 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00-9:45 a.m.

Keynote Address:

Senator Jerry Moran, Kansas

Senator Mark Warner, Virginia

 9:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

 Panel Discussion:

Paula Collins, Vice President, Government Relations, Texas Instruments Incorporated

Toby Smith, Vice President for Policy, Association of American Universities

Audrey Singer, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

 Moderated by: Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy

 ________________________________________________________________________

Senators Warner and Moran will discuss key components of their Start-up Act, which they authored and introduced.  A panel discussion will follow with an examination of the prospects of accelerating the commercialization of university research, increasing opportunities for immigrants with advanced STEM (science, technology, engineering, and Mathematics) degrees and adding a STEM category for immigrant investors seeking permanent residence.

 ________________________________________________________________________

Please RSVP acceptances only to page@wilsoncenter.org

Watch the live webcast here.

Directions to the Wilson Center: www.wilsoncenter.org/directions

You are Invited–The Start-up Act: Building America’s Entrepreneurial Future

The Program on America and the Global Economy Presents:

 The Start-up Act: Building America’s

Entrepreneurial Future

 Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Joseph and Claire Flom Auditorium, 6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

________________________________________________________________________        

 8:30 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast

 9:00-9:45 a.m.

Keynote Address:

Senator Jerry Moran, Kansas

Senator Mark Warner, Virginia

  9:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

 Panel Discussion:

Paula Collins, Vice President, Government Relations, Texas Instruments Incorporated

Toby Smith, Vice President for Policy, Association of American Universities

Audrey Singer, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution (invited)

 Moderated by: Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy

 ________________________________________________________________________

Senators Warner and Moran will discuss key components of their Start-up Act, which they authored and introduced.  A panel discussion will follow with an examination of the prospects of accelerating the commercialization of university research, increasing opportunities for immigrants with advanced STEM (science, technology, engineering, and Mathematics) degrees and adding a STEM category for immigrant investors seeking permanent residence.

________________________________________________________________________

Please RSVP acceptances only to page@wilsoncenter.org

For more information on this event click here.

Directions to the Wilson Center: www.wilsoncenter.org/directions