June 06, 2019

Harris, Durbin, Blumenthal, Klobuchar: Keep International Student Talent in America

The Keep STEM Talent Act would retain international graduates with advanced STEM degrees

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) have introduced a bill that would remove unfair barriers for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) educated international students who want to work in the United States after they complete their advanced degrees.  The Keep STEM Talent Act of 2019 would help grow the economy by retaining talented international graduates who have earned STEM advanced degrees from American universities by exempting these graduates from restrictive green card caps that significantly delay or prevent their pathway to citizenship.

“Ours is a nation of immigrants, and our strength has always come from our diversity and our unity,” said Senator Harris. “We have invested in these students who have learned at our universities and we must do everything we can to keep their talent here. I am proud to join my colleagues on this important legislation which will ensure the U.S. remains competitive in the global economy, and hardworking students are welcome on our campuses and in our country.”

Under the Keep STEM Talent Act, a STEM graduate could obtain lawful permanent residence if:

  • The STEM graduate secures an offer of employment from, or is employed by, a U.S. employer in a field related to their degree at a rate of pay above the median wage level for the position in the geographic area of employment; and

  • Their employer receives an approved labor certification for the position, which requires the Secretary of Labor to determine and certify that no qualified U.S. workers are available for the position and that the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers are not adversely affected by the hiring of the foreign worker.