Immigration baby steps

Minnesota Star Tribune
December 12, 2012

This month the House passed the STEM Jobs Act, a recycled, Republican-driven measure that increases the number of visas for immigrants earning advanced degrees in engineering, math, science and technology from U.S. universities. Senate Republicans introduced the “Achieve Act,” which offers a reprieve for eligible undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

Unfortunately, both measures have flaws. The Achieve Act fails to offer the pathway to citizenship included in the DREAM Act and, therefore, doesn’t move the country forward. The STEM bill needlessly drives down overall immigration rates and eliminates the diversity lottery visa.

Despite their shortcomings, the measures hit on the key issues. Both parties see the wisdom in keeping immigrants who earn high-tech degrees in America’s workforce rather than sending them back home to work for competitors.

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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…