National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

Media

Visa Reforms in Congress Should Address Broad Range of New American Talent

September 20, 2012

Washington, D.C. — The following is a statement from Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, on the recent proposals by Democrats and Republicans in Congress to provide green cards to graduates with advanced degrees in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

“It is good to see Republicans and Democrats recognize the value of immigrants and immigration to America. No one would dispute that our nation is built on the backs of farmworkers and the brains of engineers from around the world.

“An increase in the number of STEM visas serves one important part of our economy.

“But the fact is, we in America value work in all parts of the labor market, and our nation welcomes diverse immigrant populations. Legislation to increase STEM visas should not take from other legal immigration channels. After all, both parties support legal immigration.

“We hope House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith will work with his allies across the aisle to craft a bipartisan compromise on STEM legislation that serves America's ideals as a nation of immigrants, setting the standard for broader, common-sense reform in the months and years ahead."

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