Rokita Votes in Support as House Passes STEM Jobs Act

Nov 30, 2012 Issues: Economy and Jobs

November 30, 2012                                                                   

Contact: Josh Britton

Phone: (202) 225-5037



Rokita Votes in Support as House Passes STEM Jobs Act


(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita issued the following statement after the House today passed the STEM Jobs Act, H.R. 6429, which will offer 55,000 visas per year to skilled immigrants with advanced degrees from certain U.S. universities in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). The measure passed the House on a 245-139 vote, with Rokita voting in support.

            “This bipartisan bill is a big victory for our Hoosier economy and for our higher education institutions like Purdue and IU, which are among the top destinations in the country for talented international students. Through our state universities, Hoosier taxpayers invest significant resources in educating the best and brightest students from other countries, only to see them return overseas after they graduate. I hear from business leaders in Indiana all the time about the constant demand for high-skilled workers in the STEM fields, such as our medical device industry, and we need to keep these graduates here so that Indiana and the rest of the country can benefit from their talents. We want to encourage them to stay and become the next millionaires and billionaires here – and not overseas. This bill will help us to do that,” said Rokita.

            The 2012 “Open Doors” report, released earlier this month by the Institute of International Education, found that Purdue had the second-highest number of international students among all U.S. public institutions during the 2011-12 academic year. IU-Bloomington ranked seventh among public universities on the same list. Open Doors also estimated that international students contributed $22.7 billion to the U.S. economy last year.

The STEM Jobs Act ends the diversity lottery green card program and allocates as many as 55,000 green cards per year to eligible foreign graduates with advanced degrees from U.S. universities. The green cards will first be made available to foreign graduates with doctorates, and then to foreign graduates with master’s degrees. For more information on the STEM Jobs Act, click here.