STEM Immigration Bill Passes House; Would End Diversity Visas


The U.S. House of Representatives recently approved the STEM Jobs Act, making more visas available to 55,000 foreign graduates of American universities who hold advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Latino Democrats, as well as some immigration reform groups around the country, opposed the bill.
The act also makes sure that spouses and children of graduates can get green cards after one year. The bill was co-sponsored by first-term Latino Idaho Republican congressman Raul Labrador.  “This is a good bill; it would strengthen our economy, it will create jobs,” he said in an article posted on
But to expand visas, the House voted to nix the diversity visa program, which grants visas to immigrants from different countries through a lottery system. President Barack Obama said he would not sign the bill if it was not part of a larger immigration reform package.
Republican Florida Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart supported the bill and said it was a bad idea to keep letting foreign students who become science experts leave the country, calling that scenario “the mother of all outsourcing.”
“You can’t pretend to be pro-immigrant and eliminate immigration from one group to allow another group to come,” said Illinois Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez, who voted against the bill.