BEIJING, CHINA – OCTOBER 14: (CHINA OUT) Visitors inquire about schools of USA, UK and other countries at the 2006 China Education Expo on October 14, 2006 in Beijing, China. The fair has attracted over 450 colleges, universities, schools and institutions from about 30 countries and regions present. Chinese students have become popular student source for foreign schools which are developing overseas education market in China, according to local media. Credit: China Photos/Getty Images
Legislation sponsored by House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) would offer 55,000 visas per year to foreign-born graduates of American universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. These highly-prized “STEM” graduates, says Smith, are an asset to U.S. businesses and innovation and should be prioritized when it comes to green cards, rather than taking their skills and knowledge back to their home countries.
Immigration advocates object to giving one group of “best and brightest” immigrants preference over others who may not have the advantage of an advanced education. Competing bills on the House floor would grant STEM visas without cutting back on other visa programs.
Should the U.S. give highly-skilled immigrants a boost to the front of the line?
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