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Grassley: “Our immigration system is flawed”

This news story was published on December 9, 2012.
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Senator Charles Grassley

From Senator Charles Grassley:

Today (Dec. 5th), I’m proud to speak in support of the STEM Jobs Act of 2012, a bill passed by the House of Representatives last week.  This bill would make available up to 55,000 green cards each year for foreign students who have received doctorates or masters degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (also known as STEM) from a U.S. university.  The bill wouldn’t increase overall immigration levels, but rather, would move our immigration system toward one in which we reward the best and brightest of the world with the chance to remain, live and work in this country.

Without a doubt, our immigration system is flawed.  I have long argued that we need to enhance and expand legal avenues for U.S. employers to hire foreign workers.  While I am a champion for rooting out fraud and abuse from many of our visa programs, I’m also supportive of finding ways to allow people to enter this country through legal channels.

It makes sense to allow foreign students who have been trained and educated on U.S. soil to remain here.  These students have advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, and this bill will ensure that we keep those highly skilled and sought after students here for employers in need.

Our economy cannot wait.  We need to enact solutions today that create economic growth.

We also have no reason to wait for next year’s likely debate on immigration.  Attracting and retaining high skilled workers shouldn’t be a partisan issue.  The senior senator from New York has a similar proposal to grant green cards to STEM students.  I can only assume that many people on the other side of the aisle would support this bill if the Majority Leader gave it a chance.  Nearly 30 Democrats in the House crossed the aisle to help this bill pass last week.

Finally, as we look ahead to immigration reform, it will be important to consider ways our policies benefit future generations, not just solve the problems of the day.  Our immigration system should be structured in a way to recruit people with skills in STEM fields.  This bill is a good first step to changing our system to a merit-based one.  Enhancing our legal immigration channels should be a top priority, and I am committed to working on ways to do that for all sectors of the economy.

I hope the Majority will consider our request to call up the STEM Jobs Act and send it to the President.  It would be a signal to the American people that we can work together to enact needed immigration reforms.

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3 Responses to Grassley: “Our immigration system is flawed”

  1. Allen Reply Report comment

    December 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    From what I understand, it’s not the highly educated illegals that people are having a problem with. It’s the ones that sneak in the back door, take advantage of our welfare system, work for cash, pay no income tax, yet they set up a household, apply for income tax refunds by claiming 10 children live with them, and get it, then send most of the money back home. This country has enough legals that take advantage of the system, we can’t support millions of illegals that don’t pay anything. Come in the front door and do it right, get a job like my ancestors did.

  2. Katie Reply Report comment

    December 9, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I have a problem with this. Our smartest U.S. Citizens will have to compete with illegals for the highest paying jobs in this country. That burns my butt, Chuck. I doubt there are enough of those jobs to go around.

  3. Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

    December 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    “Our immigration system is flawed” Geez, no kidding, really????