US wants to stop foreign students from staying after studies
(Sourced from PTI)
A group of United States of America lawmakers has reintroduced legislation in the House of Representatives to eliminate a program that allows foreign students to stay in the country for work after the completion of their studies under certain conditions. They introduced the Fairness for High-Skilled Americans Act, a legislation that would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act on the Optional Practical Training (OPT).
Congressmen Paul A Gosar, Mo Brooks, Andy Biggs, and Matt Gaetz have introduced the bill. "What country creates a program, but not a law, that rewards its businesses to fire citizen workers and replace them with foreign labor to pay the foreign labor less? The United States. The program is called OPT and it reflects a complete abandonment of our own workers," Gosar said.
Gosar first introduced the Fairness for High-Skilled Americans Act in the 116th Congress and has twice signed amicus briefs in support of American workers in a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to eliminate the OPT. The OPT is a guest worker program administered by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Gosar alleges that the OPT circumvents the H-1B cap by allowing over 1,00,000 aliens admitted as foreign students to work for up to three years in the United States after graduation. He argued that these foreign workers are exempt from payroll taxes, making them at least 10-15% cheaper than a comparable American worker.
"Landing that first job out of college will only become more difficult for young Americans as universities formalize the role they play in crowding out opportunities once reserved for American graduates. For this reason, OPT must be eliminated," stated Kevin Lynn, Founder of US Techworkers.
According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, OPT is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student's (who has a full-time student visa for studying in any accredited US educational institute) major area of study. Eligible students can apply to receive up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization before completing their academic studies and/or after completing their academic studies.
"The OPT openly undercuts American workers, particularly higher-skilled workers, and recent college graduates, by giving employers an actual tax incentive to hire compliant, inexpensive foreign labor under the guise of "student training," said Rosemary Jenks, Director of Government Relations, NumbersUSA.