House bill to increase high-tech visas defeated

AP News
Posted: Sep 20, 2012 5:29 PM
House bill to increase high-tech visas defeated

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic opposition has led to the defeat of a House Republican bill that would have granted more visas to foreign science and technology students but would have eliminated another visa program that is available for less-educated foreigners, many from Africa.

Democrats, including members of the black and Hispanic caucuses, voiced support of allowing more talented foreign students to stay and work in the United States. But they objected to doing that at the expense of others seeking residence in the country.

The bill would have given up to 55,000 green cards a year to doctoral and masters graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It would have eliminated the Diversity Visa program that makes visas available to those from countries with low rates of immigration.