September 19, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C…. The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) today welcomed bipartisan Congressional efforts to expand the number of visas available for high-skilled immigrants with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). 

ITI Director of Government Relations Andy Halataei issued this statement on the Congressional work:

Foreign-born STEM graduates drive U.S. innovation.“During the last week, members of both parties in the House and Senate have introduced legislation to reverse our nation’s innovation brain drain.  While many people see Washington as a city of division, it is a tremendously important development to see members of both parties champion the cause of keeping foreign-born, but US-educated science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) job creators here in America.

“The House is set to vote tomorrow on the STEM Jobs Act -- a bill introduced by Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Tex. In addition, Senate Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Immigration Subcommittee Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., have both introduced legislation that would provide employment-based green cards to our nation’s top foreign-born STEM students with advanced degrees.  ITI commends Rep. Lofgren and Sen. Schumer for their leadership and for the introduction of their bills, which would seriously reform our nation’s high-skilled immigration system and halt the practice of educating and then sending abroad our best STEM students to compete against us.

“Collectively, these bills represent a vital, bipartisan step forward in skilled visa reform, as well as advancing a set of initiatives that will fuel business startups and new high-paying jobs. There is no debate here.  Both parties agree that our best and brightest STEM students should be allowed to innovate and create jobs here at home.  We remain optimistic that Chairman Smith, Chairman Schumer, Ranking Member Lofgren, and others will seek a bipartisan solution to keep STEM job creators here in America, and we stand ready to help.”

Media contact:  Meghan Fletcher, mfletcher@itic.org, (202) 524-4389

 

About ITI

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) is the premier advocacy and policy organization for the world’s leading innovation companies.  ITI navigates the constantly changing relationships between policymakers, companies, and non-governmental organizations, providing creative solutions that advance the development and use of technology around the world.  We develop first-rate advocacy strategies and market-specific approaches.  And we deliver results.  Visit itic.org to learn more.