Rep. Thanedar moves bill to retain PhD graduates in America

The legislation will addresses the demand for skilled workforce in the country and immigration issues of skilled professionals

Indian American Representative Shri Thanedar introduced a bipartisan bill that seeks to retain individuals who have earned a PhD degree from an accredited U.S. college or university by offering them a streamlined pathway towards permanent residency.

The Putting Highest Degrees (PhDs) First Act aims to increase America’s global competitiveness and to grow the economy by filling a critical gap in the United States employment sector.

According to a release, the Act will addresses the demand for skilled workforce in the country and immigration issues of skilled professionals,who earned their highest degree in the US. To be eligible,individuals must also have a job offer that pays the median wage for their occupation and area, the release stated.

According to an assessment, between 2010-19, more than 40 per cent of international students received doctoral degrees in the country. However, after finishing their education, many students prefer to work outside the US due to strict quotas and visa backlogs that have created unnecessary hurdles and resulted in America losing the expertise of many highly skilled individuals.

The assessment highlighted that STEM-related jobs increased by 34 per cent in the US, which underlines a need for individuals with higher education. In this context, the release stated, “To fill this gap and increase the retention for Ph.D. holding individuals, the bill removes the barriers that make it difficult for individuals to remain in America.”

In a statement, Congressman Thanedar said, “When I immigrated to America, I had only $20 in my pocket. Through education, I was able to build the life I wanted. I was able to live the quintessential American dream.” He added that after receiving a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Akron, he built multiple small businesses that created more than 500 jobs across Michigan. “I credit education as the reason for my success,” Rep. Thanedar.

He added,“The proposed legislation will help the United States tap into a rich source of talent and expertise that will further bolster its workforce, promote innovation, and enhance its global standing.”

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