|3:47 PM EDT||
Lamar S. Smith, R-TX 21st
Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, before yielding to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Hall), I'm going to yield myself 1 minute.
Mr. Speaker, the gentlewoman from California said at least two things that are completely inaccurate. Let me correct those statements.
First, she said this bill is going to reduce immigration and that that was somehow the intent behind the bill. The gentlewoman from California practiced immigration law, and she knows better than to say this. Under this bill, and she knows this to be the case, individuals in other employment categories who are waiting for other types of employment visas can switch over and apply for these STEM visas if they are master's or Ph.D. holders in the STEM fields. There's no limit on those. I expect
every year that the number of visas that are not used directly will be used by these individuals in other employment-based categories.
I want to make the point, too, that America is the most generous country in the world. We admit almost 1 million people legally every year. That's far more than any other nation, and it may well be as many as every other country combined.
The purpose of this bill is not to increase or decrease immigration, and I want to make that point, and also the fact that most Americans agree with this. Gallop recently reported that four out of five Americans do not want to increase the levels of immigration. Only 4 percent believe that the number of immigrants now entering the U.S. is too low. This bill reflects what the American people want.
Lastly, in regard to for-profit schools, the gentlewoman made light of that and seemed to think that this bill was going to be abused by those types of institutions.
First of all, any institution, even if they are profit-making--and why do so many Democrats oppose profits and free enterprise? I don't know--but any profit-making institution, if they otherwise qualify, which is to say if they grant doctorates or master's in STEM fields and if they are a research university as deemed by the Carnegie Institute of Higher Education, yes, they'll qualify. But I want to say to the gentlewoman from California, today, none of those for-profit institutions would qualify.
If they somehow meet the qualifications in the future, why wouldn't we want them to be eligible to have their graduates--master's and Ph.D. only--apply for these STEM visas?
I am happy now to yield 2 minutes to the chairman of the Science Committee, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Hall).