President Obama opposes an immigration reform bill backed by companies including Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe that would let U.S.-educated computer programmers and engineers remain in the country, the White House said today.

The surprise announcement comes in advance of a House of Representatives vote scheduled for Friday on the Republican-backed STEM Jobs Act of 2012, which would make up to 55,000 visas available to foreigners who earned a master's or doctoral degree in certain science or technology area from a U.S. university. Those visas would only be available if immigration authorities certify that no American workers are available to fill the post.

The White House's statement this afternoon says the "administration opposes House passage of H.R. 6429."