TechNet, the bipartisan policy and political network of technology CEOs that promotes the growth of the innovation economy, today hailed the U.S. Senate introduction of the SMART (Sustaining Our Most Advanced Researchers and Technology) Jobs Act, offered by Senators Chris Coons (D-Delaware) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) that would make it easier for America to attract and keep the world’s best and brightest innovators working here in the United States.
The SMART Jobs Act creates a new visa category for foreign-born students who are pursuing a masters or doctorate degree in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields at American schools. Once those students graduate and find a job related to their degree, their immigration status would be adjusted to Legal Permanent Resident.
“Today 200 of the Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants. America is in a global battle for the best talent. While many of the world’s most promising innovators pursue their graduate studies in the United States, they often face an uncertain, expensive and unpredictable path to pursuing a career here,” said Rey Ramsey, President and CEO of TechNet. “Too often, our outdated immigration system has created situations where we train the talent and then force them to leave the country and take jobs with our competitors. The SMART Jobs Act is a strategic, bipartisan measure that offers a creative approach to help us keep high skilled talent within our own borders, delivering more innovation and needed job creation.”