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September 25, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the gap between available skilled labor and the rapidly growing science, technology, engineering and math industries, or STEM, jobs continues to widen, lawmakers are struggling to find a balance between meeting the needs of the burgeoning sectors and creating fair immigration policy.
“This bill makes our immigration system smarter by admitting those who have the education and skills America needs,” Texas Representative Lamar Smith said.
“Although this bill ostensibly seeks to increase STEM visas, it appears to have another, in my opinion, more sinister purpose to actually reduce legal immigration levels,” California Representative Zoe Lofgren.
The debate on the STEM Jobs Act came to the House floor just before lawmakers left Capitol Hill for the campaign trail last week. It fell shy of the two thirds needed to pass.