A bill which would scrap the green card lottery and grant green cards to certain science, technology, engineering and math professionals who have received advanced degrees from US institutions won a crucial vote on the House floor today. By a margin of 243 -170, Republicans, joined by ten Democrats, voted to allow the bill to come up for debate and a final vote tomorrow where it is expected to pass by a similar margin.
The bill would provide certain STEM professionals (a number, including cancer researchers and medical dotors are excluded) with green card quota numbers pulled from the would be scrapped green card lottery. Spouses and children would not get green cards except that they could get a non-immigrant visa to be in the US and then eventually the STEM spouse or parent could file for permanent residency for them through the family categories. Those spouses and children would not have the authority to work while waiting.
Democrats and the White House have opposed the bill because it won't increase green card numbers overall and because they want to include STEM legislation in a comprehensive reform bill. That's why most observers believe the bill will not move on the Senate side.
Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.