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 US vote on foreign grads illustrates immigration deadlock

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US vote on foreign grads illustrates immigration deadlock Vide
PostSubject: US vote on foreign grads illustrates immigration deadlock   US vote on foreign grads illustrates immigration deadlock Icon_minitimeSat Dec 01, 2012 1:23 am

The House of Representatives voted Friday to grant more permanent residency permits to foreign graduates -- a likely-doomed bill that illustrates the deep divisions between the two main US parties on the hot issue of immigration.

US vote on foreign grads illustrates immigration deadlock 93738764



The tally was 245 in favor to 139 against. The bill was sponsored by Republicans, who were snubbed mightily by Hispanics in the November general election.

Democrats voted against it, in part because they want broad reform of the immigration system, not just to tackle a small aspect of it in a country with an estimated 11 million foreigners lacking residency permits.

The bill will probably go nowhere because there is only a month left in the legislature and Democrats control the Senate.

A new Congress born of the November presidential and legislative elections will take office in January.

Specifically, the STEM Jobs Act voted on Friday would raise from 120,000 to 170,000 the number of residency permits granted to foreigners who have completed graduate degrees at American universities.

The new visas would be for those in science, technology and engineering fields, the first three parts of the STEM acronym. But to make room for them, a program that gave preferential treatment to people from developing countries was axed.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Lamar Smith, said America needs to hold on to graduates with high-tech skills.

"In a global economy, we cannot afford to educate these foreign graduates in the U.S. and then send them back home to work for our competitors," Smith said.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j1Z9z5eu4Hlr-X9m2AIIim4aP9FA?docId=CNG.7dd0fcfa998809f75b5d97d99034307c.401
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