The US immigration choice

Green CardPeople from all over the world who have accredited degrees in math and science should “get a green card stapled to their diploma,” according to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  Romney made the comment during his debate on Tuesday night with President Barrack Obama, who has made a number of similar appeals for the retention of skilled foreign students.

The bipartisan visa-stapled idea has been stewed on by lawmakers for three years now since 2009, yet Congress has failed to make it policy.  The politicking of election year seemed to offer a rare opening that was very quickly closed.  The question is – should there be more opportunities created to allow highly-educated engineers and scientists to be able to stay in the US at the cost of shutting down the “random lottery” of visas.

“Do you want to have 6,000 Iranians coming here or do we want 6,000 researchers and scientists?” US Rep Brian Bilbray asked on the floor of the House of Representatives.  “Do we want over 2,000 Moroccans (or) individuals who have proved they have an asset?”

Congressional Republicans say that the US can give out a special green card to foreign scientists and engineers for permanent residency or it can dish out visas in a random worldwide lottery, but it is unable to do both.  The great majority of Democrats, however, feel that there is room for both programs in the United States, though neither Obama nor Romney has weighed in on the debate.