AIAA Applauds House Passage of the "STEM Jobs Act of 2012"

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) applauds today’s passage of the “STEM Jobs Act of 2012” in the U.S. House of Representatives. The measure passed by a 245–139 vote, with more than two dozen Democrats joining with Republicans in support of the bill.

The “STEM Jobs Act of 2012” would provide up to 55,000 permanent resident “green cards” each year to the top foreign graduates of U.S. universities with doctoral degrees in the “STEM” fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, with any remaining green cards being made available to such graduates with master’s degrees in STEM fields. Candidates for employment under the bill must have received the degree in question from an eligible U.S. university in a STEM field, must have taken all of their course work in the U.S., must be petitioned for by an employer who has gone through labor certification to show that there are not sufficient willing and available American workers who are as qualified as the foreign applicant for the position in question, and must agree to work for five years for the petitioning employer or in the U.S. in a STEM field. The 55,000 green cards would take the place of those currently granted under a “diversity visa” lottery system, which benefits immigrants from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S.

“The STEM Jobs Act of 2012 will help the United States economy remain globally competitive by increasing the number of green cards available for foreign graduates of America’s universities who have attained advanced degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics (STEM),” noted AIAA Executive Director Sandra H. Magnus. “This legislation helps assure that the United States will benefit from these individuals’ talents and expertise, and will continuously ensure that the world’s best talent in STEM fields is able to be retained by U.S. firms. Additionally, this legislation promises to spur American innovation in the STEM fields, continuing a rich legacy of advancement and discovery by U.S. STEM firms.”

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