4:26 PM EDT
Ruben Hinojosa, D-TX 15th

Mr. HINOJOSA. Mr. Speaker, I rise to strongly oppose H.R. 6429, the Republican STEM proposal before the House today under suspension of the rules.

As the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce and vice chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Asian American Caucus in strongly opposing this Republican STEM proposal, misguided legislation that would curtail legal immigration to the United States.

As a proud cosponsor of this bill, I support this legislation because it would allow advanced STEM graduates to remain in the United States and contribute to our Nation's scientific discovery and technological innovation, increasing our Nation's global competitiveness. This bill reduces backlogs for STEM-degree recipients by attracting and retaining critical talent and creating a new EB-6 green card category for persons with advanced degrees in STEM from research universities in the United States.

I must underscore that this bill does not eliminate or weaken our immigration programs to increase STEM visas. This bill targets only the best and the brightest foreign students. Unlike the Republican proposal, this legislation, H.R. 6412, does not allow foreign graduates of for-profit colleges to receive STEM visas, including degrees earned by mail or over the Internet.

In closing, I urge my colleagues to strengthen our Nation's global competitiveness.