The hope for immigration reform is still alive. The Immigration Innovation Act of 2013 is a proposed law that will bring a bright spot on the horizon for students in high-tech fields who would like to work in the US after graduation.
The bill has plenty of bipartisan support and is a result of a meeting of the minds between leaders in the high-tech industry and immigration community. It aims to keep the US competitive in the global economy. The common sense components of the bill keep families intact and allow college educated immigrants to contribute to society here in the states.
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) had this to say about the bill:
“It's a market-driven path forward to fulfilling a need in our immigration system and growing the economy. It's good for workers, good for businesses trying to grow, and good for our economy."
One of the key elements to the bill is a plan to reform fees on employment based green cards and H-1B visas. A grand program will be funded by those fees and worker re-training will be made available. The H-1B visa cap is set at 65,000 right now, but will be raised to 115,000. In addition to that increase, a market-based escalator will be put in place and the cap can be raised up to 300,000 if the economy demands it.
Modernizing the immigration system has long been a priority for those directly affected by the often difficult process that is in place now. As these issues come to the forefront, more politicians are responding to the demands of highly skilled immigrant workers. Their contributions to our society can’t be denied. Forty percent of tech companies that went public in the US were founded by immigrants. These companies are responsible for creating 560,000 jobs.
The full text of the legislation can be found HERE.