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Quigley Passes Amendment Stressing Importance of Keeping Cutting-Edge Jobs in the United States

May 13, 2010
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) passed an amendment to H.R. 5116, the reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act, stressing the importance and economic impact of retaining the brightest young engineers and scientists in the United States.

"If the United States is to continue to lead the world in technological advancement, then it's essential that we have the best minds working here," said Quigley.  "This is about making sure that the next Google or Intel is based in America and not overseas, and ensuring that the jobs that follow innovation have a permanent home in the United States."

Currently, foreign-born students earn roughly one-third of American doctorate degrees in the sciences and two-thirds in engineering, according to the National Science Foundation. However, due to cumbersome and outdated immigration laws, many of these students return home to India, China, and other countries vying with America for technological supremacy.

Quigley's amendment is supported by employment and technological organizations such as Tech America, the American Council on International Personnel, and Compete America.

"We applaud Representative Quigley and Representative Flake for sending a clear message that it is in our national economic interest to retain the foreign-born talent that we educate and train in America," Compete America said in a statement.

Quigley is also the lead co-sponsor of H.R.1791, the STAPLE Act, which would amend United States immigration code to keep foreign-born doctorate earners in America on extended visas after graduation.

The America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Act invests in modern manufacturing, improves research and development in clean energy, and strengthens math and science education.