|I saw a thread on HN yesterday that pointed out that president Obama will veto the STEM Visa bill if it reaches his desk. I was curious what was IEEE USA's view point of this change of situation, so I emailed my IEEE-USA contact who is in charge of pushing the STEM Visa bill.|
For those who are interested, this is the exchange:
me: "Given that the president Obama has promised to veto the bill, what exactly is the next series of steps for the STEM Visa bill?"
"That is, unfortunately, a good point. President Obama had said he was supportive of the STEM bill prior to the election. We expected him to take the same position now. But, since the election, the Democrats have chosen to take the position that until they can reform the entire immigration system, they will not reform any of the immigration system. It isn't that they don't support STEM Visas, they just want to use STEM visas to win support for other reforms, like amnesty for illegal aliens. It is unlikely that this play will work.
The bad news is, if events unfold like we now expect, we will win the vote on Friday, and then the bill will die. We will have to start all over next year.
The worse news is that we can't do much to promote the STEM Visa bill until after comprehensive immigration reform fails, which it eventually will. That will be late 2013, at the earliest.
We can take some comfort in knowing we came closer to winning than any other immigration bill this Congress, and we are well positioned to play a role next year. But for now, we have lost.
I'm waiting to see how tomorrow's vote goes before sending around a general notice to everyone. Nothing is ever really over in Washington, so we could yet win, but I doubt it.