House Passes Thompson-Sponsored Jobs Act

Rep. G.T. Thompson

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House passed H.R. 6429, the STEM Jobs Act, a bill to prioritize the legal immigration status for foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) degrees. U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-5 of Howard, is a cosponsor of the bipartisan legislation, which passed by a vote of 245-135.

“It’s senseless to have someone come to the U.S. for an advanced education, then deny them the opportunity to join American businesses and help fill key high-skill job shortages, which is critical to expanding employment opportunities for more American workers,” stated Thompson. “We should welcome talented young minds to help fuel new innovations, create new businesses and work opportunities, rather than equip foreign competitors with graduates trained in our world class universities. Passage of H.R. 6429 will create additional pathways for STEM graduates to fulfill our workforce needs and serve as a catalyst for job expansion for domestic workers in the high-tech industry.”

“Study after study has shown that there are few legislative steps which would cost taxpayers so little, but which would have such a massive impact on job creation, innovation and national economic security than to make it easier for highly educated international students to stay in America and build their dreams and businesses,” stated Perry Babb, co-chair of The Alliance for Innovation & Business Development for Centre County, a business owner who has navigated the work visa process to be able to hire highly skilled international workers, is also a member of the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County.

According to The Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan group of mayors from across the country and business leaders from all sectors of the economy, every immigrant with an advanced STEM degree working for a U.S. company creates about 3 new American jobs.

“I applaud the House for passing the STEM Jobs Act, which has the potential to greatly benefit employers in Pennsylvania looking to hire individuals with advanced degrees in these technical fields,” stated Gene Barr, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. “Pennsylvania’s economy has evolved significantly and workers with STEM training are in high demand. This legislation will allow more highly-educated foreign students to stay and work in the United States after graduating from our schools.”

H.R. 6429 does not expand the total number of legal immigrants, rather it prioritizes individuals who have received STEM doctorates from U.S. universities. Under the bill, employers who hire STEM graduates must advertise the position and if a qualified American worker is available, the STEM graduate will not be hired.

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