House Says Science PhD’s Yes, Everyday Immigrants No

The STEM Jobs Act sailed through the House on a 245-139 vote.

By Julianne Hing Nov 30, 2012

With their hasty [post-election pivot]( on immigration reform, Republicans are the ones who get to act all disappointed in Democrats for a seeming failure to show up on the issue. The much-snubbed [Achieve Act]( was a Republican concoction. As was the STEM Jobs Act, which sailed through the House on a 245-139 vote today. The STEM Jobs Act, authored by Republican Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, would offer permanent residency to immigrants with master’s and doctorate degrees from U.S. universities in science, technology, engineering and math. Encouraging highly educated professionals in science and technology to stay in the U.S. is a bipartisan priority; Democrats and Republicans have acknowledged the economic imperative of such a move. The STEM Jobs Act has the vocal support of tech companies like Intel and Microsoft, who’ve long advocated for more friendly policy to allow the highly educated to stay in the country. During his 2012 State of the Union President Obama called for reform to explicitly accommodate this class of immigrants who, "we send … home to invent new products and create new jobs somewhere else," immediately after they receive their education in the U.S. "That doesn’t make sense," he said.