Recently, Reps. Bill Foster (D-IL) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) introduced the Keep STEM Talent Act to provide lawful permanent resident status for certain advanced Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) degree holders. The bill would allow graduates with advanced STEM degrees to remain in the United States following their graduation and would remove barriers for STEM-educated international students who want to work in the United States. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
“In order to compete in an increasingly global economy, we must expand our STEM workforce,” said Congressman Foster. “We should end restrictive policies that send STEM graduates back overseas to the detriment of our nation. These students can use their talents to strengthen our economy and create American jobs – we should work on creating a pathway to citizenship that lets them stay in America. I’m proud to work with Chairwoman Johnson in the House, and I’m glad that this effort is being led by Senator Durbin in the Senate.”
“America must maintain a strong STEM workforce to help us compete in the global economy,” Senator Durbin said. “When we deny international students with advanced STEM degrees from American universities a chance to continue their work in our country, their talents are sent back overseas to our competitors after we’ve already invested in their educations. We should let these students use their American degrees to strengthen our economy and create new jobs in the United States, and I’m glad Rep. Foster will lead this effort in the House.”
“For generations our nation has welcomed great minds from across the world to share their ingenuity and inventiveness at our institutions of higher learning,” said Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Chairwoman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. “From STEM students to researchers, professors, and entrepreneurs, they have helped drive U.S. competitiveness and global scientific progress in often unanticipated and groundbreaking directions. I proudly support the Keep STEM Talent Act and its goal to give talented and highly educated workers the opportunity for U.S. citizenship.”