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Obama attacks offshoring, seeks visa reform

Patrick Thibodeau | Jan. 26, 2012
President Barack Obama Tuesday attacked offshoring, urged businesses to bring jobs back to the U.S., and renewed his appeal for visa reforms to keep foreign students from returning home after earning advanced degrees.

A U.S. Commerce Department report this month said that the U.S. provided about 70% of all dollars spent in 1980 on basic research; the government's share has since fallen to 57%.

In last year's State of the Union address, Obama talked about the need to make it easier for foreign graduates of U.S. universities to stay in the U.S.

In that speech, the president said: "Others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us. It makes no sense."

In May last year, the White House released a paper on immigration reform that proposed "strengthening the H-1B program to fill the need for high-skilled workers when American workers are not available, increase worker protections and improve enforcement mecha-nisms, among other changes."

The Obama administration didn't detail what "strengthening" meant in terms of the H-1B visa.

But the White House is supporting the idea of making green cards available to "select graduates" with advanced degrees.


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