by Maryam Khan Cope, Director, Government Affairs
The House of Representatives today approved with strong, bipartisan support the “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019” (H.R. 1044), sponsored by Reps. Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Buck (R-Colo.). The bill eliminates the unjustified and counterproductive per-country cap on employment-based visas in favor of a fair, “first come, first served” system. Passage of the bill is an important step forward in reforming our country’s broken high-skilled immigration system.
SIA has long supported high-skilled immigration reform to enable U.S. companies to attract and retain the best and brightest scientists and engineers from around the world. Innovation in the semiconductor industry requires top scientific talent, including foreign STEM graduates with advanced degrees in specialized fields.
SIA’s policy blueprint, “Winning the Future: A Blueprint for Sustained U.S. Leadership in Semiconductor Technology,” highlights the need to attract and develop a skilled workforce in order to maintain U.S. semiconductor leadership. The blueprint calls on Congress to reform the high-skilled immigration system so qualified STEM graduates from around the world can contribute to innovation and economic growth in the U.S. Today’s vote is an initial step to achieve this goal.
Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Sens. Lee (R-Utah) and Harris (D-Calif.) and is co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 33 senators. We call on the Senate to promptly pass the bill and send it to the president for his signature.
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