In an attempt to demonstrate that they are not the racists their policies in recent years have made them out to be, House Republicans passed an immigration reform measure yesterday. It was a nice try, but sadly, the effect of the measure would actually decrease the number of Black and Latino immigrants allowed into the US.
The House on Friday approved legislation aimed at providing more visas to foreign nationals with advanced degrees from U.S. universities.
Members approved the STEM Jobs Act by a 245-139 vote. While most Democrats opposed the bill, 27 of them joined Republicans in support of the measure, just a little less than the 30 Democrats who voted for it earlier this year.
The bill creates a new category of visas for foreign students with science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) degrees. Republicans said the bill would reorient the visa program toward people who can stay in the United States and help create jobs.
"Our commitment to foreign STEM graduates is a commitment to American job creation," Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said.
"For each person we welcome to America with one of these high degrees, we create jobs, net jobs," said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). "We create opportunity for expansion of the kinds of businesses that in fact Americans are prepared to work in, but often we do not have enough engineers, scientists or math professionals."
House passage sends the bill to the Senate, which is unlikely to consider it at all given broad Democratic opposition. In either case, the White House has already said it opposes the bill and would rather work on broader immigration reform that covers other issues, including the creation of a pathway toward citizenship for illegal immigrants that have been in the country for years.
Democrats used debate time Thursday and Friday to argue that while they support a STEM visa program, they do not want one at the cost of eliminating the Diversity Visa program, as the STEM Jobs Act would do. The Diversity Visa program gives countries with low rates of emigration to the United States access to 55,000 visas, and Democrats said many of those visas are being used by African countries… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <The Hill>
Frankly, I think that STEM Visas are an excellent idea, but consider eliminating Diversity visas counterproductive. Many of the fiscal problems confronting our nation come from the aging of America. Fewer young workers will be paying Social Security and Medicare premiums, while more seniors will be drawing the benefits they earned with a lifetime of contributions from them. Low population growth in the US reduces demand for goods and services. Allowing more younger workers into the US will expand the entitlement base, and their spending will stimulate the economy. It should be seen as a win-win for everyone.
Chris Hayes discussed immigration reform with Ezra Klein and Victoria DeFrancesco Soto.
What then is the Republican motivation for eliminating diversity visas? It can only be that, in keeping with their announced fear of white people no longer being the majority, they’re dreaming of more white visas.