STEM Visas, Education Raised In Presidential Debate

BY Heather Greenfield
October 17, 2012

During the second presidential debate last night in New York both President Obama and Gov. Romney agreed on the need for immigration reform.

Romney said green cards should be stapled to the diplomas of foreign students with advanced degrees in science and math. Obama noted the role of immigrants in starting some of the most prominent, innovative tech companies like Google and Intel.

While Romney tried to denounce Obama for not getting Congress to propose an immigration reform bill yet, Obama pointed out the real problem is that Republicans are blocking reforms on what used to be a bipartisan issue – immigration.

Both also advocated for better math and science education so American students will be able to get jobs with the higher tech skills that employers need.

President Obama said some low-skilled, low-wage manufacturing jobs are not going to come back from overseas, and that’s why it was important to invest in advanced manufacturing and to have the best research in the world. He said it wouldn’t make sense to give tax breaks to the wealthy and “cut investments in research and science that will create the next Apple, create the next newinnovation that will sell products around the world.”

Obama’s answer came in response to a question from moderator Candy Crowley about why iPhones and iPads couldn’t be manufactured in the U.S.

Unfortunately the patent wars over smartphones and the need for real patent reform was not part of the debate. CCIA supports immigration reform for highly skilled workers, better math and science education and government commitment to basic research.

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