Semiconductor giants call for immigration law restructuring

Semiconductor giants are pushing for immigration reform that would allow more highly skilled workers to remain in the U.S. after Congress passed a bill to strengthen domestic chip manufacturing.

The semiconductor companies told Congressional leaders the U.S. should reform regulation around green cards to keep more highly skilled workers, according to a copy of the letter reported by Punchbowl News Thursday.

The companies argued that the U.S. should exempt eligible immigrants with doctorate and masters’ degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics from annual green card country caps, as well as allow for the recapture of unused green cards to reduce the “massive backlog” of employer and family sponsored green card applicants.

In addition to the green card reform, the companies said the U.S. should invest more in developing qualified U.S.-born STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students, and create more semiconductor-specific degree programs.

“This issue is not only a semiconductor competitiveness problem. As recognized by Congress, the United States also needs to invest in R&D in strategic industries for its national security,” they wrote. “This is necessary to stay ahead of strategic competitors that are investing heavily in both their indigenous semiconductor industries and their STEM talent.”

The bill was signed by representatives from Intel, GlobalFoundries, ASML US and Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., among others.

The push comes after Congress passed a $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act to boost domestic chip manufacturing and finance scientific research. The bill aimed to increase the U.S. competitiveness in the field.

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