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Technology employers and their advocates, who have minced no words about the immigration reform bill pending in Congress, are finding a glimmer of hope in the Cantwell-Cornyn amendment.

Scheduled to be voted upon in the Senate on June 5, the high-skilled immigration amendment (S.1249) to the immigration reform bill (S.1348) was sponsored Mar. 24 by a bipartisan group of senators including Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Patrick Leahy, (D-Vt.), Robert Bennett (R-Utah) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

The amendment addresses what technology employers see as multiple shortcomings in the immigration reform bill: the removal of degree equivalency, the limiting of student provisions and the loss of employers’ ability to choose the foreign workers they would like to recruit.

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The amendment proposes the retention of a pool of 140,000 employer-sponsored green cards for foreign professionals seeking permanent residency in the United States, in a “dual green-card system” that would exist in addition to the merit-point green card system suggested in the main bill.

The amendment also recommends restoring H-1B exemptions for foreign workers who have U.S. master’s or doctoral-level degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

Read the full story on The Cantwell-Cornyn Answer to Tech Employers’ Prayers