Breitbart’s Neil Munro reports a last-minute Obama Administration regulation will create more foreign job competition for American workers specializing in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. It would: automatically extend the work permits of H-1B guest workers while they seek permanent employment-based green cards; increase their job portability; and create a new method for non-profits to hire H-1B workers by partnering with universities. And for foreign students who work under the Optional Training Program (OPT), the regulation would extend the length of their work permits so they can seek a H-1B slot.

Under current law, H-1B visas last for three years but can be renewed for another three. The number is capped at 65,000 per year -- with quotas placed on workers from certain countries -- plus 20,000 for those with advanced degrees, irrespective of the per-country cap. But institutions of higher education (including their hospitals) and government agencies are exempt from the cap and can import an unlimited number of H-1B workers. Under the OPT program foreign students, after graduation from U.S. universities, can work for 12 months and seek a 24-month extension.

No one knows the total population of H-1B visa holders currently working in the United States since the Department of Homeland Security only publishes information on the 85,000 new recipients each year. Breitbart cites estimates of “roughly 650,000 six-year H-1B professionals, plus several hundred thousand additional foreign college graduates holding L-1, B-1 or NAFTA visas, plus at least 120,000 foreign graduates in the expanded OPT program.”

These workers are coveted by companies, universities and government agencies because they can be hired at much lower wages than American workers and college graduates, and the jobs do not have to be offered to Americans first. This regulation makes H-1B visa holders even more attractive because it allows them to continue working indefinitely instead of having to return home and wait for a green card. It allows visa holders to get a job earlier than the law provides and to change jobs. And it allows their spouses and children with “compelling circumstances” to find jobs. The regulation, if effect, maximizes flexibility for employers and visa holders at the expense of American workers and graduates.

The regulation, which takes effect on January 17, 2017, poses a challenge for President-Elect Trump who promised to “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 can immediately overturn President Obama’s executive orders and policies but regulations must be terminated through a lengthy notice-and-comment rulemaking. However, he can set a lower priority for the processing of such visas. This is what Obama did when he prioritized the processing of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applicants over all other immigration beneficiaries.

Read more in Breitbart News.

high-tech workers

Updated: Thu, Dec 15th 2016 @ 5:55pm EST

Debra 9260 of MD's picture

Is this an Executive Order, why can it not be overturned immediately and the H-1B Visas revoked?  Is this legal?  If it is revoked immediately can't they than offer the jobs to American Workers?  This is Shameful.

Van 0864 of VA's picture

As noted in the article, it's a regulation and must go through a notice-and-comment termination. Legal? Obama adopted many policies and regulations like this one that unconstitutionally exceeded his authority but got away with it. We'll either push for notice-and-comment termination or congressional termination.

Debra 9260 of MD's picture

Great, so excited for the support of Numbersusa.  The best thing I ever did was join this supportive organization, will continue to support.  Thank you

Glenis 1025 of TN's picture

Unfortunately all of Congress (House and Senate) report to the corporations that support them and they are voting for more Cheap Slave Labor.  They undercut American, They don't say anything, and are owned by the corporation that sponsors them.  Cheap Slave Labor.  Only in America do we backdoor slaves.

Debra 9260 of MD's picture


Also, I just read, Obama is seeking a jump from 1.7B to 3.9B for HHS Dept programs aimed at the care and welfare of illegal immigrants and refugees, will Congress do this, this year before Trump is sworn in?  What is going on? It would be cheaper to send them back.

Albert 3441 of PA's picture

The goal of our government's mass immigration program is to replace the historic American nation with 3rd World immigrants and their descendants, who would become cheaper and more compliant subjects of an all-powerful, one-party state. STEM jobs represent a big chunk of middle-class income for us. That's why these jobs have been so relentlessly targeted for reassignment to our replacements.

Dana 5813 of GA's picture

My husband and I were classified as "middle class" once upon a time. Our status has lowered over the last eight years to lower class income people. Our Nation cannot stand any more lowering due to immigration of illegals. No more laws need to be penned for those who don't come into our country for jobs, housing, and/or welfare.   

Robert B 9798 of IL's picture

Thanks you NumbersUSA  in bringing  visibility to  American Job Destruction!


Here's hoping President (elect)  Donald J. Trump  confront  'issues'  with the temporary visa  programs.

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Dustin 2480 of CA's picture

I specifically remember Barrack Obama a few days before the 08' election saying we are 3 days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America. It was always his plan to bring in "refugees", dismantle the secure fence act of 06', order ICE to not effectively do its' job, do absolutely nothing about sanctuary cities, etc.  Oh ya and his administration spent $64 million registering freshly minted (legal) immigrants to vote and virtually getting them to the polls. The very few that were undecided were probably basically bribed to vote democrat. $10 million of the money was thrown down in the final few months of this recent election. He is pushing to Fundamentally Transform the U.S.A. until the end even though he really knows that the majority dose not support his agenda.

It is funny. If one looks at the electoral map county by county it is like 90% red. Most of the area's, which are basically specs of blue are locations of sanctuary cities. If they are not there is a sanctuary city very close. Obama swindled our nation and those that supported him didn't see it coming. Or, they just didn't catch it/realize.

The country woke up thanks to Donald Trump. For those of you (if any) that have not been following Brexit and what's going on in France right now I'd recommend looking into it.

Liberal policies have brought our countries to the brink. There is too many people who do not want to hurt other peoples feelings. So, give em more, let more in, more this, more that, more is fine blah blah blah.

Enough is enough. The people have spoken.

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Gary 3036 of CA's picture

An excellent book on how High tech billionaires and bipartisan  congressional  work

hand in hand to prevent America's best and brightest workers from getting tech jobs

by using the H1B visa program for cheap 'foreign workers.It was a #1 best seller

NY Times. Many members of the US Senate(others?) get money from companies  to

force out US Workers.Book is called "Sold Out" by Michelle Malkin/John Miano

One US company had its tech workers train foreign H1B people,then lay them off.!!!

The book names names in US Senate ,and some of the companies using cheap

foreign labor to screw US Tech workers. I certainly agree that Trump should

cancel all H1B,H2B  visa programs and all similiar immigration programs.GC Apgar

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Ryan 2968 of TX's picture


Opposition to immigration reform has created a demographic disaster for Republicans with Latinos, Asian-Americans and college-educated and young white voters. These growing segments of the electorate have shifted their support away from the Republican Party, putting some state's electoral votes out of play. Failure to pass immigration reform sets in place an Electoral College map that makes it nearly impossible for Republicans to regain the White House for a generation. See how these changes will affect future elections.


I look at the above results and just laugh!!!


We need to work on decrease the number H1B jobs

Revoke H4-EAD workpermits

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Van 0864 of VA's picture

We're in a good position on H-1Bs. It's likely Trump will shut down programs like H-4, DACA etc but let existing work permits expire rather than revoke them. Fewer legal challenges that way and much less complex. To revoke them, they'd have to create a process to collect them. It's important to note that changes to regulations must go through the notice-and-comment process while policy changes do not. H-4 work permits fall under the former category