Universities Fast-track Foreign Students into 147,000 White-Collar U.S. Jobs

U.S. universities are rapidly increasing the number of fee-paying foreign students who are being fast-tracked into the professional jobs sought by American graduates. In 2009, the universities helped 67,804 foreign graduates get white-collar jobs under the little-known Optional Practical Training program, which allows foreigners to get professional-grade jobs inside the United States for at least three years. By 2016, the universities worked with companies to get at least 147,498 foreign student customers into the white-collar jobs, according to the Institute of International Education, a New York-based group run by trustees from industry, education and Wall Street. The OPT outsourcing program is great for the foreign students because it gets them a U.S. job for three years, and puts them on a track to win extremely valuable Green Cards and citizenship. It is great for employers because many OPT employees work for low salaries in the hope of eventually getting Green Cards — and also because the OPT employees are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes, unlike American employees. The OPT system is also great for universities and colleges because it brings in more student customers from overseas, whose tuition fees greatly exceed the paperwork costs paid by universities to run the OPT program. That’s a big financial benefit for universities. But the OPT guest-worker program is bad for the many ordinary American graduates who are being shut out of more than 100,000 jobs — and who also face increased lifetime competition from imported, lower-wage foreign professionals. Joseph Palos, a high-tech graduate from Cornell University, formally objected to the OPT program in 2015. ”Companies don’t want to hire Americans and they abuse… OPT to hire cheap immobile labor instead of hiring anyone over the age of 35, especially in software or tech areas,” he wrote to a federal agency, according to a report in ComputerWorld. That’s a challenge for President-elect Donald Trump, who campaigned against work visas — such as the H-1B visa — that disadvantage Americans. “I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program,” he said in a March 2016 statement. “No exceptions,” he added. The scale of the OPT outsourcing program is unclear — but it is certainly huge. For comparison, the 147,498 foreigners now employed in the OPT program add up to three times the 51,000 Americans who graduated with information technology jobs in 2015, according to federal data. The number of resident foreign OPT professionals is also five times the 29,000 Americans who graduated with science degrees in 2015, and 40 percent more than the 108,000 Americans who graduates with engineering degrees. The OPT number is expected to sharply rise in 2017 and later because President Barack Obama expanded the program to allow foreign students to work up to 24 months instead of 12 months. Also, foreign graduates from so-called “STEM” degrees — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — can work for an additional 12 months, or a total of three years.

How crazy is that?!?!  Hopefully Trump will put a screeching halt to this nonsense when he takes office!  To read the rest of this shocking article, click on the text above.

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