Darrell Issa | Serving California's 49th District

Issa Bill to Increase American Competitiveness Advances

June 28, 2013

At the heart of the American dream is the guiding principles that no matter where you come from, where you live or what situation you were born into, you can, with the combination of ambition and sweat, achieve anything.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report in June that found that of nine countries surveyed; only Italy and France remain behind the United States in creating new jobs.  Because we must act to create jobs, grow our economy and attract the world’s best and brightest employees, I have put forth the SKILLS (Supplying Knowledge-based Immigrants & Lifting Levels of STEM) Visas Act.

For years, foreign students have come to the United States seeking the benefits of our unrivaled higher-education system.  They receive the skills they need to revolutionize industries, transform economies and create an untold number of jobs.  Yet our current worker immigrant visa system puts our country at a competitive disadvantage by allowing other nations to attract students and benefit from the education they earned here in the United States.

My bill would allow legal foreign students of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – fields to stay in America after graduating to work and contribute to these fields.  The legislation also eliminates the non-merit based visa lottery system and allocates those visas to skilled-based students.

After being approved by the House Judiciary Committee this week, my bill may now be considered by the full House of Representatives.

The SKILLS Visa Act is only one part of the larger discussion on immigration reform.  The House of Representatives continues to take steps to offer balanced and practical solutions that serve our nation’s best interest.

For more on my bill to increase jobs and American competitiveness, please click here.

To watch my statements and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte unveil the SKILLS Visas Act, please click here.