House Passes Lamar Smith’s STEM Jobs Act 245-139
By Van Le, America’s Voice
In the first vote on an immigration bill since this month’s election, the Republican-controlled House rehashed an old policy and passed a version of a bill that already failed earlier this year, 245-139. Twenty-seven Democrats joined Republicans in supporting the legislation.
The STEM Jobs Act, sponsored by anti-immigrant Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), would increase visas for high-skilled workers in exchange for the elimination of the diversity lottery, which grants a number of permanent residency visas to countries with low rates of immigration to the US. The bill now heads to the Democrat-controlled Senate, which seems likely to ignore it; the Obama administration has already come out against it.
In his floor speech against the STEM Jobs Act today, immigration reform champion Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) expounded on earlier comments that the GOP-backed bill treated immigration like a “zero-sum game.” He said:
We need to stop scoring cheap political points and playing games with immigration and start working together.
Which is why it is so DISAPPOINTING the majority decided to undermine an area of bipartisan agreement on STEM visas by loading up the measure with provisions that are a slap in the face to the core values of the United States.
If you support this bill, you are saying that one group of immigrants is better than another and one type of educated, degree-holding person and their work is more important than another’s.