Protect American Workers — DHS Accepting Public Comments Until Nov. 18

job_giveawayThe Obama administration is preparing to make it easier for the technology industry to utilize cheap, foreign labor for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs rather than hire American graduates. Under the proposed rule, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will allow foreign STEM degree-holders to remain in the country and work on their student visas for up to 3 years after they graduate. The proposed rule involves extending the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program—a DHS creation to keep foreign “students” in the country—from 12 months after graduation to 36 months for those in the STEM field. Outrageously, DHS is trying to extend the STEM OPT even after a federal judge struck down the 2008 OPT extension for foreign STEM graduates from 12 months to 29 months. That case, WashTech v. DHS, which is still going through the court system, was brought by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI).

Even though the tech industry has spent $1.5 billion lobbying for greater access to foreign workers, you can still make your voice heard to protect American STEM workers. By law, DHS must accept public comments on the proposed regulation and respond to them before implementing the change. If there’s enough opposition, DHS might revoke the proposed rule and never implement it. The deadline for submitting comments is November 18. Make your voice heard, submit a comment today!

Key points to make in your comments to DHS:

  • The proposed rule will destroy the job prospects of recent American STEM graduates.
  • The proposed rule is an assault on American middle class workers.
  • Expanding OPT eligibility to three years after graduation will increase the labor pool for American tech jobs by hundreds of thousands. That alone will adversely affect job opportunities and wages.
  • OPT provides significant financial incentives for companies to bypass American workers.
  • Because OPT workers are technically “students,” employers will not be required to pay payroll taxes for these employees.  That would save companies about $10,000 a year for each of the three years they employ OPTs.
  • OPT workers will not have the same rights as other workers to unionize, or to move to different employers.
  • OPT expansion is a blatant attempt to make an end-run around limits on H-1B visas.

There is no shortage of qualified STEM workers in the U.S. If that were true, wages for such workers would be accelerating rapidly. They’re not; wages for STEM workers have been flat for years. The same cannot be said for revenues for big tech employers. Those have been growing rapidly in recent years.

Submitting a comment is easy! All you have to do is click here and paste any (or all) of the above points in the comment box along with anything else you want to add. Although you have to provide your name, your submission will remain anonymous unless you check the box “I want to provide my contact information.” You can also check out these helpful tips for submitting effective commentsSubmit your comment now and protect American STEM workers.

avatar About FAIR Gov't Relations Team

From meeting with members of Congress to providing testimonies for hearings and issuing reports, FAIR has worked on national immigration issues since 1979. The Government Relations team reviews legislation and legal opinions and acts as a liaison between FAIR and Congress.


  1. avatar job says:

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  2. avatar Damien says:

    The public comment process (for this rule) is also a sham, since the DHS is allowing large numbers of foreign students – who naturally are in favor of the new rules – to leave their comments on the web site.

    Our so-called political leaders – and the Big Business elites that control them – have absolutely no regard for the well-being or Constitutional rights of US citizens.

  3. avatar Damien says:

    It is certainly disturbing when companies – such as Disney and Southern Cal Edison – replace American engineers with lower-paid H-1B workers. However, an even bigger problem with the H-1B program is that it allows most companies to hire H-1B workers INSTEAD of American workers, while remaining in full compliance with the law.

    So, the problem is not abuses of the law. The problem is that the (H-1B) law itself is a sham, as it was intentionally designed to allow employers to discriminate against American engineers in favor of lower paid foreign workers.

    • avatar Leland says:

      You’re correct. The law is smoke and mirrors.

    • avatar JoeC says:

      You are so correct. It hurts to see highly qualified, longtime workers forced out of good-paying jobs when companies start replacing them with foreigners. Lots of these things happen because of mergers, ownership changes and the influence of big investors. Americans are getting screwed at every turn. The Feds play along. I’m not sure I’m a Trump fan, but if he knows how to fix this let him go for it. Meantime, put an end to these visas and ley=t’s train and care for our own!

  4. avatar 1JBRice1 says:

    Foreign nationalist have no loyalty to the United States and should not be allowed to work in U.S. jobs nor vote on anything related to the laws of our country. They only owe allegiance to the “home” country and if push comes to shove, they will fight against the United States.

  5. avatar Oscar says:

    This is an attack by our own government on American workers in favor of foreign workers and big businesses like Disney and Con Edison that want cheap labor. Most American STEM workers cannot find work in their field so and are left to take any job available and that is why the unemployment rate is low in this field. STEM workers already have to compete with the 1 million people imported annually under the H-!B visa program and this will only ad more competition for STEM graduates. The extension of the stay for these graduates should not be extended but should be eliminated from the current 1 year and they should be deported upon graduation.

  6. avatar Damien says:

    After the manufacturing jobs started to go overseas – courtesy of the “Free Trade” agreements, our so-called political leaders – and their Big Business masters – tried to assure us that the STEM jobs would provide a lifetime of opportunity for Americans with the prerequisite education and training.

    But for as long as I can remember, many companies have been using the H-1B, EAD, OPT, and employment based green card programs to replace American engineers with cheaper foreign engineers – who in many cases are indentured servants.

    Americans are also being excluded from the Pharmacist jobs. Evidence of this can be seen first hand at many CVS and Walgreens pharmacies.

    Unless we can start causing some real pain and discomfort for the political and business elites – as well as the foreign workers – then this process will continue until we are are extinct.

  7. avatar Leland says:

    I saw a story on CNN that said those with STEM degrees have an unemployment rate of only 3%. But that doesn’t mean they are working in their field. Many are not.

    And one of the statements above shows why there tech companies want these H1B visas. It’s not only the cheaper wages but the other money they save:

    “Because OPT workers are technically ‘students’ employers will not have to pay payroll taxes for these employees.”

    As noted, this will save the companies $10,000 in payroll tax per year per employee.

  8. avatar No Change says:

    One thing perhaps as important is that late 50s & 60 year old engineers with a great deal of experience that could neutering new engineers are no longer hired because of age discrimination…..this is an important one but I guess NOBODY has thought fit…..

    • Yes No Change

      But as the domestic engineering GLUT in America is going on with replacement tech education coming from student VISAs and just other country educated too [H-1Bs without US education], wages and innovation are diminishing too. The answer to elimination of American engineer senior knowledge from experience [50-60 Y Os, as you put it] is to water down the policy so experience isn’t necessary. I’m sure Disney will find the product innovations will become watered down too and their entertainment quality [bottom line] more sub par in the future.

      Highly skilled technical mentoring takes decades to implement, not a year or two too. We’re losing it permanently now.

      • avatar No Change says:

        Agreed and with that losing our position in World Technology Leaderdship and as a power due to the lack of scientists..and as you put it took years to acquire and it will be generations before if WE EVER get it back…..or may be it will take another world war for this to happen……

      • avatar No Change says:


        • avatar No Change says:

          Agreed and with that losing our position in World Technology Leaderdship and as a power due to the lack of scientists..and as you put it took years to acquire and it will be generations before if WE EVER get it back…..or may be it will take another world war for this to happen……