Thursday, November 29, 2012

STEM Jobs Act a Step Backward on Immigration Reform, Warns Free Market Group

On Friday, the House of Representatives will vote on the STEM Jobs Act (H.R. 6429). The bill would allocate 55,000 green cards for foreign-born graduates of U.S. universities with Doctorate and Master’s degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. But it also eliminates all 55,000 visas under the Diversity Visa Program.

The bill will actually hurt legal immigration. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) made that explicitly clear, as explained in a statement from their immigration policy analyst David Bier.

"Not only does this bill seek to make immigration reform into a zero-sum game in which each winner must be matched with a loser, it seeks to use the illusion of immigration reform to decrease immigration," stated Bier. "Its proponents know there are not enough foreign-born STEM graduates to fill demand for this new visa and have refused to allow unused visas to be reallocated to other categories."

"The bill also violates employer privacy by creating an internet list of those who hire these immigrants, making them potential targets for harassment, and it undermines immigrant self-sufficiency by barring spouses of legal residents from work while they wait for green cards."

This dangerous precedent eliminates visas for the less-educated to give them to the highly-educated. Truly free market immigration reform should expand visas for both categories of immigrants. 

The false dichotomy the STEM Jobs Act creates will only make America’s immigration system more discriminatory and restrict avenues for legal immigration. And that only inevitably leads to more of the illegal kind.

Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market proponent


Barbara Mcpherson said...

Immigrants are one of the reasons that countries remain vibrant and wealthy. Immigration does need to be controlled, but that control also needs to be tempered with humanity. Who's picking Arizona's lettuce crop this winter?

Billie Greenwood said...

So true. Seems like the immigrants bring new energy and willingness to work to a nation. Years ago, the U.S. dropped the ball on figuring out how to regulate immigration. The longer that "ball" stays down, the harder it will be to get it back into proper play.