Today, the NAM reiterated its support for HR 6429, the STEM Jobs bill, which would redirect visas to Master’s and Ph.D. graduates of US universities in STEM fields who have an employment offer. The bill is expected to be voted on by the House on Friday and would increase employment-based visas by 55,000.
Facilitating access to a skilled workforce and bridging the skills gap is an on-going focus for manufacturers and is essential to the success of modern manufacturing in the United States. The NAM supports the STEM Jobs Act because it relieves pressure on employment-based visas for highly-skilled and highly-educated individuals who are also highly in-demand. While dialing down the pressure a couple notches, it is not a complete solution to the problems employers have with the immigration system.
The STEM Jobs Act is a step in the right direction, but only that – a step. The NAM has long been a proponent of immigration reform and believes that broader, comprehensive reform is necessary. The existing immigration system, at all skill levels, is a serious concern for employers in all industries and should be addressed through thoughtful, forward-looking reform. We look forward to working on modernizing our immigration system to reflect the needs of all parties in the next Congress.