House Republicans are trying to increase the visa opportunities for foreigners who graduate from U.S. colleges and Universities with math/science degrees.
The effort is part of a move to help U.S. technology companies, Politico
GOP leaders in the House are seeking a floor vote this week on a bill authored by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, which would offer more visas to foreign graduates of U.S. schools.
The bill would eliminate the diversity visa lottery program, which allocates visas through quota systems for each geographical location. Instead, more visas would get assigned to foreign graduates with masters and doctorate degrees in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, a congressional aide told Politico.
Democrats and Republicans alike support an increase in visas for foreign workers who were educated in the United States. But it’s uncertain whether any Democrats will co-sponsor Smith’s bill.
House GOP leaders are urging tech companies to lobby for passage of the bill. They shouldn’t have much trouble, as those companies already have pressed Congress to act on the issue.
Officials from Microsoft, Qualcomm, Oracle, and other tech companies met with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, and aides to House Speaker John Boehner Friday, meeting participants told Politico.
“This proposal is the capstone of the Republican tech agenda, and the tech community is going to be pushing for it,” Ralph Hellmann, a tech lobbyist at the Lugar Hellmann Group, told the news service.
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