A bipartisan group of senators will introduce legislation Tuesday that would seek to make it easier for foreign students who hold post-graduate degrees in math, science or engineering from American colleges to remain in the US after they finish their studies.
The legislation would also create an entrepreneur's visa to allow people who start new businesses and create jobs to remain in the country.
The four lawmakers who are backing the bill -- Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) -- are hoping to convince leadership of both parties to allow the bill to come to the floor, despite the fact that it deals with the politically toxic issue of immigration in an election year.
The bill would also create a targeted tax credit to encourage start-up firms to invest in research and development. It would allow investors who cash in investments made in start-up businesses to avoid capital gains tax as long as they had held the investment for at least five years.
It would require the administration carry out a cost benefit analysis of any new regulation that has an economic impact of greater than $100 million.
The bill's backers are hoping that by combining popular immigration provisions with tax and regulatory measures they can convince Senate leaders to bring the legislation to the floor.
But a senior Senate Democratic leadership aide said there had been no discussions about the bill between leaders and any of the four lawmakers.
The aide said that the only immigration measure that was likely to be brought to the Senate floor before the election was a proposal known as the DREAM Act, which would allow children who came to the US with their parents illegally be allowed to stay permanently if they go to college or enroll in the military.