President Obama opposes an immigration reform bill backed by companies including Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe that would let U.S.-educated computer programmers and engineers remain in the country, the White House said today.
The surprise announcement comes in advance of a House of Representatives vote scheduled for Friday on the Republican-backed STEM Jobs Act of 2012, which would make up to 55,000 visas available to foreigners who earned a master's or doctoral degree in certain science or technology area from a U.S. university. Those visas would only be available if immigration authorities certify that no American workers are available to fill the post.
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The White House's announcement said the administration doesn't necessarily oppose the concepts behind the bill, but the STEM Jobs Act is a "narrowly tailored proposal" that does not "meet the president's long-term objectives with respect to comprehensive immigration reform." One reason it's controversial among Democrats is that the bill would eliminate the 55,000 diversity visas available to citizens of countries with low immigration rates to the United States.
Actually, I don't. Opposing efforts to keep skilled and talented people here because it might frustrate the handing out of "diversity visas" is exactly the kind of insanity sure to be on the progressive agenda. Oh, and we all know what "comprehensive immigration reform" means, don't we?
A sane immigration policy would be to aggressively fight illegal immigration, which tends to favor the unskilled and poorly educated who might be more of a drain than an asset, and to make legal immigration a lot easier for people who have the skills and pro-Western values we need more of. Official policy seems to be exactly the opposite.