By ALEX ORTIZ | Joliet Herald-News | Oct. 7, 2019
U.S. Rep. Bill Foster is supporting legislation to provide lawful permanent residence status for certain advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematics degree holders.
The Keep STEM Talent Act would allow graduates with advanced STEM degrees to remain in the country after their graduation, according to a news release.
“In order to compete in an increasingly global economy, we must expand our STEM workforce,” Foster said. “We should end restrictive policies that send STEM graduates back overseas to the detriment of our nation. These students can use their talents to strengthen our economy and create American jobs – we should work on creating a pathway to citizenship.”
The legislation would also remove barriers for STEM-educated international students who want to work in the U.S.
U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, introduced the legislation with Foster. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, has introduced companion legislation in the Senate. Foster and Johnson introduced the bill in the House of Representatives last week, according to the release.
“America must maintain a strong STEM workforce to help us compete in the global economy,” Durbin said. “When we deny international students with advanced STEM degrees from American universities a chance to continue their work in our country, their talents are sent back overseas to our competitors after we’ve already invested in their educations.”