Back in September 2012, legislation aimed at encouraging foreign nationals from STEM fields was introduced. Known as The STEM Jobs Act of 2012 and spearheaded by Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the legislation would have created a STEM visa and provided more efficient green card processing for some STEM degreed professionals.
The STEM Jobs Act initially did not get off the ground. Back in September 2012, on a 257-158 mostly party-line vote that required a two-thirds super majority, the House rejected legislation (H.R. 6429) (STEM Visa Bill) that would provide 55,000 green cards to foreign students who graduate from U.S. universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Now, in a sign that Republicans are serious about immigration reform, on 11/20/12 the House Rules committee posted a modified version of H.R. 6429, the STEM Jobs Act. Info on the revival of The STEM Jobs Act can be found in a Politico article at:
In the article, Crystal Williams, Executive Director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said the bill is a message from Republicans that "we are here and we are ready to talk about immigration reform." Ms. Williams also commented that she believes bills addressing individual reform issues may not be successful because many politicians are looking at broad reform efforts.