— TechNet, the national, bipartisan network of innovation
economy CEOs and senior executives, welcomed today’s introduction of the Immigration Innovation (“I-Squared”) Act of 2018, which is
sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
The bill would create the largest workforce education
and training fund in our nation’s history to boost science, technology, engineering, and math
(STEM) investments for U.S. students and workers, while reforming the
high-skilled immigration system to improve protections for American workers and
help fill critical labor shortages in the U.S.

following statement can be attributed to Linda Moore, President and CEO of

“The U.S. faces a growing skills
gap that is leaving too many Americans unable to secure well-paying jobs in high-skilled
sectors. For example,
in 2016, there were approximately 3.3 million STEM job openings posted online, but that same year U.S. universities
graduated just 568,000 students with STEM degrees. We need a two-prong policy approach of boosting
STEM education and training for Americans, while fixing our high-skilled immigration
system so that businesses can recruit the best people for these jobs without harming
U.S. workers.

years, high-skilled immigration programs have helped U.S. employers address
critical labor shortages and inject new ideas, energy, and dynamism into our
economy. They have allowed high-skilled
immigrants to come work alongside native-born Americans and create world-changing
innovations, millions of jobs, and trillions of dollars worth of economic
activity here in the United States. In
fact, immigrants and their children have started more than 40 percent of
Fortune 500 companies, employing more than 10 million people.

I Squared will fund new investments in
STEM education for Americans
, make important reforms to our high-skilled
immigration system that will help
U.S. companies innovate and grow, and ensure companies are using the programs
the way Congress intended. We thank Senator
Hatch for his continued leadership and look forward to working with him to make
this bill a reality and add to his already impressive legacy.

America’s history, immigrants have been a source of strength for our country
and helped drive economic growth that has made us the most prosperous and
innovative country on the planet. As the
immigration debate continues, this is an important moment to remind Congress,
the Administration, and the broader American public of the positive
contributions talented immigrant innovators and entrepreneurs have made to our
economy and our country — and why we should continue along this path.”

I-Squared legislation implements important measures to reform nonimmigrant
visas, such as H-1B and employment-based green cards, including the following

  • STEM Training and Education
    Creates the largest U.S. workforce education and training
    fund in our nation’s history, providing approximately $1 billion in direct
    funding and scholarships, 100 percent paid for by the employers who use our
    high-skilled immigration system.
  • Conditional Green Cards: Moves
    foreign professionals hired for permanent positions directly onto permanent
    visas, helping raise wages while also increasing H-1B enforcement and
  • Strengthened H-1B Wage
    Requirements For All Employers:
    requirements that employers pay wages better aligned with the natural wages
    different education and experience levels earn in each “Metropolitan
    Statistical Area.”
  • Restricts H-1B Dependent and
    Super Dependent Employers:
    U.S. employers with high
    percentages of H-1Bs will be required to adhere to stronger protections for
    U.S. workers, or pay much higher salaries to prevent H-1B abuse.
  • Increased Green Card Availability:
    Recognizes the need for a smarter green card system by
    eliminating discriminatory per-country limits and clearing the backlog of
    highly skilled professionals.