Washington: US lawmakers reintroduced legislation in the House of Representatives against a programme that allows international students to stay in the country after studies, reported PTI. Congressmen Paul A Gosar, Mo Brooks, Andy Biggs and Matt Gaetz introduced the legislation, Fairness for High-skilled Americans (FHA) Act, that amends the Immigration and Nationality Act on the programme, Optional Practice Training (OPT).
Paul A Gosar said sarcastically that only the United States rewards its businesses to fire citizen workers to replace foreign labour since it is cheaper. He had introduced the FHA Act in the 116th Congress for the first time and had twice signed an amicus brief supporting American workers in a lawsuit, to eliminate OPT, against the Department of Homeland Security.
According to Gosar, OPT circumvents the H-1B cap by allowing over 1,00,000 foreigners to be admitted as international students to work for up to three years in the US after their graduation. These workers are exempt from payroll taxes so that they are at least 10 to 15 per cent cheaper than a relative American worker, he said.
Kevin Lynn, the founder of US Techworkers, said that as the US universities formalise the role they play in crowding out opportunities once reserved for American graduates, finding the first job out of college will become more difficult for young US citizens. Therefore OPT must be eliminated, he said.
Like Gosar, Rosemary Jenks, Director of Government Relations of NumbersUSA, said that OPT openly undercuts higher-skilled workers and recent college graduates of the country by giving employers an actual tax incentive to hire compliant, inexpensive foreign workers under the label of "student training".
OPT is a guest worker programme administered by the US immigration and Customs Enforcement.