Ask Biden to reopen OPT compliance unit!

The Optional Practical Training (OPT) program gives businesses a financial incentive to hire foreign college graduates instead of American and legal immigrant graduates. Employers do not have to pay payroll taxes and the OPT employees do not have to pay FICA withholding, making these employees significantly less expensive to hire. The OPT program is responsible for the inability of most American STEM graduates to find jobs in STEM fields — fewer than 50% of STEM graduates are finding STEM jobs. Moreover, the FICA fund loses out on $2 billion each year due to OPT and CPT.

It makes no sense to give foreign STEM graduates of U.S. universities a 36-month visa when fewer than half of American and legal immigrant STEM graduates are able to find STEM jobs. Each year, businesses hire approximately 250,000 foreign workers under the OPT program. Over the previous 10 years, approximately 2.5 million U.S. and legal immigrant STEM graduates have missed out on STEM jobs because the U.S. government makes it cheaper to hire foreign STEM graduates.

With this in mind, I cannot understand why Resident Biden just closed down the OPT Employment Compliance Unit at the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. The unit’s primary function was to gather information and produce a report on the OPT program’s impact on American and legal immigrant workers.

American STEM workers are irrevocably harmed by less-expensive foreign workers, including those with an OPT visa. I hope you will encourage the Biden administration to reverse its decision to close the unit.

Greg Raven, Apple Valley, CA