The proposed immigration reform bill likely has a camouflaged payload (Thanks to Jon Walker).
“It would reform the legal immigration system to do things encourage more high skilled workers.” These are the H-1B visas which take good middle class jobs away from those US citizens who studied hard to graduate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). One of the bipartisan senators that proposed raising the cap on H-1B visas five-fold was on the committee that wrote the omnibus compromise bill.
It’s similar to the half-billion dollar payload camouflaged in the fiscal cliff deal.
Most news organizations present the H-1B issue as offering citizenship to the best-of-the-best students who are all going to start companies that will employ lots of US citizens. They contrast by showing US STEM graduates as lacking ambition and lacking recent skills. It’s not true and never was. It’s a fiction by Microsoft, Google, Intel and other high-tech companies that want cheap labor in coercive conditions. H-1B visas also help promote age discrimination. There is no shortage of US STEM graduates and they have good skills. References for further information include: Norman Matloff at UC-Davis, Peter Cappelli at the Wharton Business School U-Penn, Hedrick Smith’s 2012 book “Who Stole the American Dream?”, and Paula Stephan’s 2012 book “How Economics Shapes Science”.