Ever heard the phrase "Brain Drain?" It means just what you'd think it would: smart people leaving.
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And, some argue, that's part of what's keeping the recession afloat in the United States -- recent graduates from other countries emigrating back home after school, taking their smarts, and any possible jobs they might create, with them.
On Tuesday, Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Chris Coons (D-DE) unveiled legislation to fix what they're calling a "long-existing problem" in the current visa system that they say forces the brightest minds to leave the country. Called the "BRAINS" Act (short for Benefits to Research and American Innovation through Nationality Statutes Act), the proposed bill will create a pilot program to make an additional 55,000 green cards available each year, for the next two years, to foreign-born graduates of American universities.
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"It's about time that legislation catches up to the real needs of the real economy," Scott Gerber, founder of the YEC (Young Entrepreneur Council), tells Mashable. "Tech talent is one of the biggest issues facing not just startups, but major institutions all throughout the United States."
Gerber says YEC, an invite-only group of more than 600 entrepreneurs, has members who have experienced the same problems the bill is outlining.
The BRAINS Act requires graduates to have masters degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) fields. The visas are then allocated by random selection. Graduates with STEM degrees from for-profit or Internet-based university programs are not be eligible.
The proposal is similar to Rep. Lamar Smith's (R-Texas) highly-skilled immigration bill that's set for a House vote later this week. Schumer's version, however, would not eliminate the diversity visa program -- Smith's would.
Click here for a full summary of the bill.
What do you think? Have you, or someone you know, had visa problems after graduating? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo courtesy Flickr, Zowezome.
This story originally published on Mashable here.