Documents obtained by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) show that an immigration program described by CIS as "obscure, almost secret" is costing American workers hundreds of thousands of jobs. The program has also exempt billions of dollars from taxation towards Social Security and Medicare.
According to the documents, obtained by Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the program has denied American workers more than 430,000 jobs, 64,000 of which are in STEM fields, between 2009-2013 and has removed $4 billion from the Social Security and Medicare trust funds.
The Optional Practical Training (OPT) program allows foreign college graduates to retain their F-1, foreign student, visa status in order to work for 12 months after graduation. During the second Bush Administration, an additional 17 month extension was added in cases where the F-1 visa holder works in a STEM field. The program was further expanded under the Obama administration where the numbers increased sharply. The total number number of participants in the program increased more than 34%, from 73,849 to 99,143, between 2009-2013.
According to CIS, since these foreign college grads are defined by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as "students", neither the employer nor the alien has to pay payroll taxes, which are mandated on resident workers and their employers. Thus the United States pays a bonus of as much as $11,600 to employers when they hire an alien graduate rather than a U.S. graduate with the same qualifications and paid the same salary.
Read the full CIS report
Updated: Thu, Jun 8th 2017 @ 3:35pm EDT