Blame Politics for the U.S. Engineer Shortage

October 23, 2012

For “a nation of immigrants,” the U.S. is denying entry to a lot of foreigners who want to come here and would do a lot to grow our economy.

Just last month, Congress blocked a plan to offer more permanent-residency visas (green cards) to foreign doctorate and master’s-degree students in science and technology fields. Republicans deliberately set up the bill to fail — a bill which they ostensibly supported — hoping to score political points and elicit campaign contributions from the technology industry, a Democratic-leaning constituency.

Republicans proposed to offer green cards to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students who train at American universities and want to stay here and work, but they didn’t want to increase the total number of immigration visas. So they made Democrats an offer they couldn’t accept: They proposed to eliminate a visa program Democrats favor, a “diversity visa” which each year admits 55,000 people from countries that do not have large immigrant populations here.

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About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…