There are currently about 700,000 foreign students studying at U.S. universities. Some of them are among the world’s best and brightest; many of them are not. A high percentage of foreign students remain in the United States after graduation to compete for jobs, despite the fact that this technically violates the terms of their student visa. That is yet another example of immigration law that has been circumvented administratively, in this case by the creation of Optional Practical Training (OPT), which allows foreign graduates to work in the United States for up to 29 months while they apply for a guest worker program or a green card. Sen. Rubio’s bill will bring in hundreds of thousands more tech workers to add to an already overabundant supply of competing workers, at the same time it amnesties millions of low-skill illegal aliens and dramatically increases legal immigration. This is a solution only a D.C. politician could dream up; and one that can only be defended by misrepresentation.
After educating the world’s brightest and most innovative minds, we will no longer send them home to benefit competing economies like China and India; we will instead staple green cards to their diplomas. We will also expand the highly skilled H1-B visa program from 65,000 to 110,000 to fill jobs Americans can’t do. To accomplish the move to a more merit-based immigration system, we eliminate certain categories of family preferences that have allowed for chain migration and completely eliminate the diversity visa lottery, among other reforms.
The Truth about the Rubio Amnesty
- Sen. Rubio’s bill will bring in hundreds of thousands of tech workers to add to an already overabundant supply of competing workers, at the same time it amnesties millions of low-skill illegal aliens and dramatically increases legal immigration.
- Sen. Rubio is bragging about wanting to immediately raise the annual admissions of tech workers by 70 percent, and by almost 180 percent in a few years’ time.
- The endless refrain about foreign students being the “best and brightest” is simply not true, and it denigrates American students who truly are the most outstanding in the world. Native-born students consistently outperform their foreign counterparts at university and in the workplace.
- The percentage of those students who stay in the U.S. after graduation is already at an all-time high. Even though foreign students have to promise to return home after graduation in order to be eligible for a student (F-1) visa, many take advantage of the ever-expanding Optional Practical Training (OPT) which allows foreign graduates to work in the U.S. for up to 29 months while they apply for a guest worker program or a green card.
- There is absolutely no shortage of workers in tech fields. There are many more graduates who have degrees in tech fields every year than there are jobs created in the industry. In fact, American tech workers are being driven out of the field, replaced by cheaper, and often younger, foreign workers.
- FAIR’s own study on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) workers points out that there is an oversupply of STEM graduates every year. Two-thirds of STEM graduates are not working in fields directly related to their degree because there are too few jobs available to them, with many jobs being given to foreign STEM graduates or H-1B guest workers.
- Sen. Rubio relies on talking points provided by Microsoft and other tech companies that have been thoroughly discredited by the Economic Policy Institute.
- The bill also expands and creates new avenues for admission, for example, allowing an unlimited number of visas for spouses and children of green card holders, and permitting immigrants to sponsor their adult children. Unmarried children of green card holders can be sponsored regardless of age, and married sons or daughters can be sponsored up to the age of 31. Of course, these married adult children will bring their spouses and own children with them.