Washington, DC—Today, Representative John Curtis (R-UT) spoke on the House floor to advocate for HR 1044,Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019, legislation that he co-authored to eliminate the per-country caps for employment based visas and shift to a first come, first served process. After he spoke, the legislation passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support 365-65.

“Current limitations in our immigration system are forcing talented engineers who have trained in our universities to remain on temporary visas or leave entirely for competing countries while important jobs go unfilled and economic opportunities are lost. This legislation will create a first-come, first-serve system providing certainty to workers and families and enabling US companies to flourish and compete in a global economy as they hire the brightest people to create products, services, and jobs—regardless of where they were born.”

The Congressman’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below:

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in strong support of the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act.

In recent years, Utah has witnessed incredible growth in tech and innovation, bringing thousands of jobs and strengthening our economy.

However, one problem I consistently hear from our tech leaders is the need for more high-skilled workers.

Even as we work to strengthen STEM education and bolster the number of home-grown engineers and programmers, the demand continues to outstrip the supply here at home. Current limitations in our immigration system are forcing talented engineers who have trained in our universities to remain on temporary visas or leave entirely for competing countries while important jobs go unfilled and economic opportunities are lost.

This legislation will create a first-come, first-serve system providing certainty to workers and families and enabling US companies to flourish and compete in a global economy as they hire the brightest people to create products, services, and jobs—regardless of where they were born.

As these companies expand operations with greater output from high-skilled workers, they create countless more American jobs.

Mr. Speaker, with the debate around our broken immigration system growing increasingly challenging in recent years, I’ve been thrilled to see the bipartisan groundswell of support around this effort. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill.”

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