Congressional action is needed to overhaul high-skill immigration policy, President Obama said during a meeting of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
In the absence of reforms by Congress, the White House is exploring what changes it can make to immigration processes. "We can expedite some of the visas that are already in place and try to streamline that process to make it move faster [but] we may need some legislative help on that area," Obama said.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) has sponsored a bill that would give a green card to any foreign student who graduates with an advanced degree in science, technology, engineering, or math, but Republicans have not shown much support for the measure.
Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has yet to produce a promised immigration reform bill. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy's Tom Kalil says that increasing the number of green cards for highly skilled workers is a goal of the Obama administration for skills-based immigration. He says Obama also supports a specific visa for immigrants who create startups.
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