Foreigners who earned Ph.D.'s at American universities would be eligible for green cards, while foreign students who completed master's degrees or Ph.D.'s in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (the STEM fields) could petition for a card.
"The real game changer in the bill for universities is in the green-card section, where advanced-degree graduates for STEM fields have green cards stapled to their diplomas," said Craig Lindwarm, assistant director for international issues and Congressional and governmental affairs at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.Immigration reform is headed over to the House of Representatives. Very few people believe that the House has the inclination (or the organization, for that matter) to pass the Senate bill. It is my vague understanding that they're much more likely to do this in piecemeal fashion. And what do I see coming out of the House Judiciary Committee? (via The Hill):
The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday passed a tech-backed immigration bill from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on a 20 to 14 vote.
The bill would increase the number of H-1B visas for highly skilled foreign workers, as well as make 55,000 green cards available to foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced technical degrees. But to offset making those green cards available, the bill would eliminate the diversity visa and siblings of U.S. citizens.The House bill (or at least, the Issa version) is here; the Senate bill that has been voted on is here. I have no idea whether or not the House will consider low-skill immigration, but I think it's quite likely that some form of high-skill immigration (i.e. expansion of H-1B visas, green cards for international students who graduate with Ph.D.s and M.S.s) will make it through the House and the Senate and be signed by the President. I should note that I am neither an immigration legislation specialist, or a Congressional expert.
Gee, I hope this works out for everyone involved. Certainly, the tech companies will get what they want (and, seeing as how they're the source of much future economic growth, perhaps they should be at the front of the line?) But at what cost?
Best wishes to all of us.