Breitbart’s Neil Munro reports that 329,158 foreign students or graduates of American universities received work permits under the Department of Homeland Security’s Optional Practical Training (OPT) program in FY 2016. This represents an almost a four-fold increase over the 91,140 work permits handed out in FY 2009, according to DHS data Munro obtained.
OPT provides an unlimited number of work permits for employment that is directly related to a foreign student’s major area of study. They can receive up to 12 months of employment authorization before or after graduation. Students who have earned degrees in certain science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields may apply for an additional 24-month work permit.
The DHS data indicate OPT is continuing to grow. Beyond the almost four-fold increase in seven years, data for the first half of FY 2017 indicate foreign student received 255,412 work permits, including 57,315 high-skill technology graduates. “That half-year number for 2017 is larger than the 2014 total,” Munro notes. “The OPT program will likely grow to 500,000 foreign workers in 2020 unless it is killed by a pending lawsuit.”
Munro says the OPT program threatens American students, many of whom have difficulty finding work after graduation. It’s also a “threat to upward mobility because it is increasingly being used to outsource community college technician jobs — such as nursing — which are the primary upward path for Americans born into lower-income families.”
“The government is enticing employers to hire foreigners instead of Americans … it is ridiculous,” the Center for Immigration Studies’ Mark Krikorian told Munro. Beyond the OPT workers, the federal government is authorizing an increasing number of foreign guest workers to take American jobs.
Read more in Breitbart News.
Updated: Wed, Oct 11th 2017 @ 11:51am EDT