Legislation to Retain STEM Graduates Critical to U.S. Semiconductor Industry
WASHINGTON, D.C.--Sept. 18, 2012--Brian Toohey, president & CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), released the following statement today urging House passage of the STEM Jobs Act (H.R. 6429), legislation introduced today by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) that would allow top graduate students born outside the United States to remain in the U.S. after receiving their advanced degree in a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) discipline. SIA and its member companies have long advocated to reform the STEM visa system to create American jobs and boost U.S. competiveness.
“Thanks to America’s unsurpassed higher education system, many elite students from around the world come to the U.S. to obtain advanced degrees in STEM fields. Unfortunately, too often these top scientific minds are forced to return home after graduation because of our outdated immigration policies. As a result, America loses many of these entrepreneurs and job creators to our competitors abroad.
“SIA commends Chairman Smith for introducing this critical, job-creating legislation and is pleased that the House will likely vote on it tomorrow. If enacted, H.R. 6429 will help the U.S. semiconductor industry and other high-tech industries continue to drive our economy, create jobs and enhance American competitiveness. SIA strongly supports this legislation and urges Congress to act swiftly to approve it.”
In July, SIA led a coalition of more than 130 technology, business and education leaders calling on Congress to pass legislation to reform the STEM visa system. H.R. 6429 accomplishes this goal and strengthens our economy by allowing American employers to retain top foreign graduates of U.S. universities who have advanced STEM degrees.
Reforming the STEM visa system has bipartisan support. Legislation to achieve the same result has been introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) have spearheaded similar initiatives. SIA commends these efforts too and calls on Congress to take prompt action to provide much-needed improvements to the STEM visa system.
About the SIA
The Semiconductor Industry Association, SIA, is the voice of the U.S. semiconductor industry, one of America's top export industries and a bellwether measurement of the U.S. economy. Semiconductor innovations form the foundation for America's $1.1 trillion dollar technology industry affecting a U.S. workforce of nearly 6 million. Founded in 1977 by five microelectronics pioneers, SIA unites over 60 companies that account for 80 percent of the semiconductor production of this country. Through this coalition SIA seeks to strengthen U.S. leadership of semiconductor design and manufacturing by working with Congress, the Administration and other key industry groups. The SIA works to encourage policies and regulations that fuel innovation, propel business and drive international competition in order to maintain a thriving semiconductor industry in the United States. Learn more at www.sia-online.org