In his State of the Union Speech, President Barack Obama Tuesday night attacked offshoring, urged businesses to bring jobs back to the U.S., and renewed his appeal for visa reforms to keep foreign students from returning home after earning advanced degrees.
Obama Tuesday made many references to tech, to business start-ups and to innovation in the speech.
He urged Congress to back policies that help "every risk-taker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs."
Laurene Powell Jobs, his widow, was among the invited guests.
Obama to date has had mixed record in the IT sector, especially in returning tech manufacturing jobs from offshore.
Obama has had no success in persuading Congress to undertake employment-based immigration reform and last year also appealed to Congress to give green cards to foreign students earning advanced degrees. Read more...
A Republican lawmaker has submitted legislation that would make foreign students who earn advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) at U.S. universities automatically eligible for a green card or permanent residency if they have a job offer.
If this bill by U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) sounds familiar, it should. In June, U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), introduced legislation seeking the exact same thing.
Indeed, Labrador's bill appears to be a cut-and-paste version of what Lofgren is seeking. Lofgren's bill is HR 2161, and Labrador's is HR 3146.
"It's kind of a novelty to take something word for word out of another bill, but it is probably not the first time it has happen in Congress," said Lofgren, in an interview. She called it disconcerting and said she has spoken to Labrador about it.
The difference is in the scope of the bills. Labrador's bill limits itself to green cards for advanced degree graduates. What Lofgren proposed was more comprehensive. Her bill sought, among other things, green cards for foreign entrepreneurs who invest in the U.S., as well as H-1B and L-1 visa reforms, including eliminating the lowest level of the prevailing wage scale. Read more...