My view is if there is a way to come together around broader immigration reform quickly, that would be great. But if that doesn't happen, then we shouldn't delay the issue because every year -- and again it will happen in May and June next year -- 40,000 to 50,000 people will be graduating with Ph.D.s and masters' degrees, and half or so will end up having to leave. Some of those people will go back to their countries and start companies that could end up being the next Googles or Facebooks.
Seems to make sense doesn't it? While 27 Democrats did vote for the bill, the bulk voted against it and it likely won't pass the Senate. On what grounds are they opposing this you ask? You guessed it, "racism". The same accusation that is bandied about if you do something like oppose federal funding of Planned Parenthood or Obamacare is being used to oppose this bill. The problem the Democratic leadership has is that the visas are being taken away from the Diversity Visa program which awards visas to people with no particular set of qualifications other than they won the visa lottery (and obviously a much higher chance of being on public assistance than PhD's). And the Diversity Visa program gives about 46% of its visas to people from Africa (as well as 30% from Asia and about 19% from Europe). If you look at the breakdown of the current immigration for "employment based preferences" and assume that the STEM visas will be in line with that, we will see 61% coming from Asia, 16% from North America, 12% from Europe and only 3% from Africa. Note that in either case, we will still be importing mostly minorities and therefore adding to this country's diversity, simply the mix would be different and that is just verboten for the Democrats despite the fact that this is clearly in the national interest.
Importing the poor and huddled masses into Ellis Island was great when the rest of America didn't have to pay for their food, housing, healthcare and education. Back then, if they made it great, we all benefit, if not, no skin off our backs. Now, if they don't make it, we're funding their lives in perpetuity. Such an immigration policy just doesn't make any sense. Shame on the Democrats for opposing a program which is such an obvious net positive for America to everyone with a brain.