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.
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 eWEEK.com: The Cantwell-Cornyn Answer to Tech Employers’ Prayers