On October 17, the "American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000" became law.1 President Bill Clinton signed the bill on the last day he could do so, during his flight back from the Middle East summit.2 The law's most publicized provision directs the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to issue 70 percent more H-1B visas, which permit foreigners to work in the United States. But the law includes a host of more obscure changes that should help life scientists struggling with immigration-related problems.3

"We got almost everything we wanted," says Philip J. Ufholz, director of government relations at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), which lobbied for the legislation. Theresa Brown, associate director for business advocacy at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), exults, "There's a whole lot of stuff in there that we are just thrilled to death with."

The new law accomplishes...

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