The end of the Congressional session saw a flurry of activity surrounding the current backlog of long-delayed Green Cards for Indian and Chinese nationals who have been working in the US for years, primarily in the IT industry. Neither the Democrats’ nor the Republicans’ competing bills to increase the number of visas available to foreign STEM graduates gets at the heart of the problem, namely the fact that Congress is ill-equipped to respond in any kind of timely fashion to America’s changing economy. The Republican solution comes at the expense of the diversity visa lottery, while the Democrats claim new Green Cards should be allocated for advanced degree graduates of US institutions and should not impact the availability of visas under the diversity lottery. Each side feels the other’s approach is wrong-headed. However, they are both missing the point. What is most needed is a body of experts who can take Green Card issuance out of politics and develop target numbers that can go up and down depending on the needs of American industry and business.
Information about the bill introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) can be found here: http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/2/hr6429