Last month a Congressional bill that would have allotted 55,000 permanent resident visas for foreign graduates with STEM degrees was defeated in the House of Representatives. The fate of the bill is particularly interesting because of the window it provides into the current state of immigration legislation in the United States.
Representative Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, sponsored the bill, entitled the STEM Jobs Act. The bill provides thousands of green cards for immigrants who receive degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. On that point many in Congress were supportive.
But the fast-tracked measure failed in its vote, 257-158 coming up short of the two-thirds majority needed. The bill received the vote of the entire Republican caucus, along with that of several dozen Democrats.