The Senate Judiciary Committee's immigration subcommittee is attempting to push through legislation that would expand the H-1B visa system and grant green card work permits to foreign students who graduate from US universities with a science, maths, or technology degree.
During a Senate hearing, Senators Chuck Schumer and John Cornyn called for immigration reform that would allow more highly-skilled workers into the US. Schumer said that it doesn't make sense to educate foreign students and then not let them stay; Letting more foreign students stay would help boost America's economy.
"If we do not enact an immigration policy that continues to attract the world's best minds, we will cease to be the world's economic leader," he said.
"Unfortunately, our broken immigration system discourages the world's best and brightest minds from coming to America to create jobs," he added.
Numerous studies have found that immigrants in the US are highly entrepreneurial. Schumer said that other country's are offering numerous incentives to keep foreign students from leaving once they graduate.
Representatives from a number of different companies testified at the hearing. According to Brad Smith, General Counsel at Microsoft, one of the World's largest software companies, and Robert Greifeld, CEO of Nasdaq, technology companies are having a difficult time finding qualified workers.
Smith said tech companies would be forced to move jobs overseas if they could not find the staff they need.
"The world economy has changed," he said. "It used to be that people would move in search of the right job, but increasingly, jobs move in search of the right people."