STEM Immigration and Startup Act 2.0
A report released by the Partnership for a New American Economy has projected that in the next 6 years, America will be facing a severe shortage of STEM workers. However, a bipartisan group in the Senate has just introduced the Startup Act 2.0, designed to address these same issues.
The Startup 2.0 act takes a two pronged approach to filling this gap: first, increase retention of foreign students who earn advanced STEM degrees at American universities. This would help to plug one of the biggest holes in the STEM pipeline, the lack of American students who are qualified for STEM jobs, by creating a new type of visa that allows these graduates a longer window to search for employment. Currently the growth of new STEM majors is the slowest in the country, and non-STEM majors outnumber STEM majors 5 to 1. Meanwhile, 60% of foreign graduate students are enrolled in STEM programs, and for each of these individuals that stay in America there are over 2500 new jobs created. When these highly qualified immigrant students are forced to return to their home countries, American competitiveness is threatened as the workers become employed for companies that compete with American businesses.
The second facet of the Startup 2.0 Act is to grant permanent residence to successful businessowners. Half of the top venture-backed companies in America have at least one foreign-born founder, and by encouraging these successful individuals the opportunity to stay in America, the legislation prioritizes the nation's economic needs over political priorities. Of those same companies, three out of four said they had at least one foreign born executive. Retaining highly qualified and capable immigrants will continue to benefit the American economy by increasing innovation and competition.