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House Passes High-Tech Visa Bill, Despite Reservations

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Some lawmakers in the D.C. metro area voted to help the U.S. House pass legislation to give out more of what are called "high skilled visas." It's making them more accessible to foreign students with advanced science and math degrees from U.S. universities.

The legislation is aimed at attracting master's and Ph.D. students in science, math and technology fields — all important to the region's economy. Twenty-seven Democrats held their noses and supported the bill, even though they disagreed with parts of it.

Northern Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly was not one of them. He says the STEM Act sets a bad precedent for dealing with immigrants.

"It discriminates against folks below that kind of level of educational achievement," says Connolly. "Well, our economy needs lots of talent. It needs unskilled workers, it needs semi-skilled workers, it needs highly skilled workers."

Critics say the immigration system needs to be overhauled, not patched here and there. The Hispanic Caucus laid out a nine point plan this week, which includes a path to citizenship for undocumented workers and an employee verification system. The lame-duck session is packed, and it appears negotiations on a comprehensive bill won't begin until January, and even then, Republicans may block the effort.

WAMU 88.5

Exhibit Shows Dolores Huerta's Life As Part Of The 'Backbone' Of America

The exhibit about the United Farm Workers activist is the first in the National Portrait Gallery's "One Life" series to be devoted to a Latina.

NPR

Do Try This At Home: 3 Korean Banchan (Side Dishes) In One Pot

If you've ever eaten at a Korean restaurant, you're used to the endless side dishes that come out with the meal. They're called banchan, and they're remarkably simple to make for yourself.
WAMU 88.5

Cutting Local Taxes In The District

The D.C. Council has taken steps to accelerate tax cuts for all income earners. They're part of a broader overhaul of the city's tax levels, but some council members argued there wasn't enough time for a rigorous debate about the new schedule. We explore the debate over cutting taxes for D.C. residents and how it affects the city's ability to pay for critical local services.

NPR

Reddit CEO Says Miscommunication Led To Blackout Protest

A user revolt briefly shut down the social-site last week after a key employee was dismissed. Interim CEO Ellen Pao says the company has "apologized for not communicating better" with site moderators.

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