Monday, April 28, 2008


Bills introduced last week in both the Senate and House would amend the National Labor Relations Act to change the definition of an “employee” to include teaching assistants at private universities, thus allowing them to unionize. The “Teaching and Research Assistant Collective Bargaining Rights Act” (S. 2891) was introduced by each chamber’s education committee chair: Sen. Kennedy and Rep. Miller.

A statement from the sponsors is available at kennedy.senate.gov/newsroom and bill text is available at thomas.loc.gov by searching for “S.2891”.

Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) introduced a bill to replace the current “diversity” visa lottery program with a new program that would issue visas to foreigners who have earned an advanced degree. The lottery is a Congressionally-mandated program that issues 55,000 visas per year to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. Senator Gregg would like to use those visas to attract immigrants holding advanced degrees in science, mathematics, technology, or engineering (STEM) fields.

Bill text is available through thomas.loc.gov by searching for “S.2868”.

Canada’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration announced changes designed to attract more foreign students to the country. Effective immediately, international students who graduate from eligible programs at certain Canadian post-secondary institutions can obtain a work permit with far fewer restrictions. Such students would no longer be required to work in specified fields or even receive a job offer before applying for a three-year work visa. The Canadian government “wants more foreign students to choose Canada and we want to help them succeed…Our ability to retain international graduates with Canadian qualifications, work experience and familiarity with Canadian society, will help increase our competitiveness and benefit Canada as a whole.”

More information is available at news.gc.ca/web/view/en/index.jsp?articleid=393209&categoryid=16

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