Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Kamala Harris, D-Califf. introduced legislation they reported would remove unfair barriers for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, or STEM educated international students who want to work in the United States after they complete their advanced degrees.
The Keep STEM Talent Act of 2019 would help grow the economy by retaining talented international graduates who have earned STEM advanced degrees from American universities by exempting these graduates from restrictive green card caps that significantly delay or prevent their pathway to citizenship, according to a news release.
Under the Keep STEM Talent Act, a STEM graduate could obtain lawful permanent residence if:
- The STEM graduate secures an offer of employment from, or is employed by, a U.S. employer in a field related to their degree at a rate of pay above the median wage level for the position in the geographic area of employment; and
- Their employer receives an approved labor certification for the position, which requires the Secretary of Labor to determine and certify that no qualified U.S. workers are available for the position and that the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers are not adversely affected by the hiring of the foreign worker.
"America is a country created and sustained by immigrants, whose contributions are a pillar of our nation's competitive edge in the global economy," Klobuchar stated in a news release. "We should be working to keep students pursuing advanced STEM degrees here in the United States, and this bill will ensure that those who want to bring their talent to our country can succeed here."