Citizenship Gets Canceled: 25,000 Academics Dismiss ‘Artificial Distinction’

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 02: People are sworn in as new American citizens during a ceremony at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services New York Field Office on July 2, 2020 in New York City. The ceremonies were brief and observed precautions, like wearing a mask and adhering to …
Byron Smith/Getty

More than 25,000 U.S. university teachers signed a petition that touts job-seeking migrants by demeaning U.S. citizenship as merely an “artificial distinction” between Americans and foreigners.

The dismissal of citizenship by citizen funded academics is being used to rationalize their support for smuggling their fee-paying foreign graduates into the jobs needed right now by their unemployed American students, said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

“Coyotes on the Mexican border are at least honest about what they are doing” as they demand cash in exchange for smuggling blue collar migrants into U.S. jobs, he said. “They’re not making pretentious claims about moral superiority — but these white collar coyotes in academia are dressing up what they are doing as a service to humanity.”

“If their view is to serve foreign students in the same manner that they serve American students, well, we need to look at the amount of taxes that the average American is asked to fork over to them,” said Kevin Lynn, founder of U.S. Tech Workers, a grassroots lobbying group.

“We as educators reject the artificial distinction between foreign and domestic students, which undermines the pursuit of both knowledge and justice,” says the petition which has been signed by more than 25,000 teachers and professors in the education industry.

The “Open Letter Against the Student Ban” petition was quickly posted on June 7 after a July 6 announcement by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency with the Department of Homeland Security. The agency said it would soon end a coronavirus-caused policy exemption in March, which allowed universities to deliver student visas and work permits — plus a long and rocky path to citizenship — to foreigners who pay for online-only classes.

Each year, universities approve roughly 500,000 foreign students and graduates for the Optional Practical Training and Curricular Practical Training programs. The foreigners then get federal work permits and are hired by American and foreign managers at Silicon Valley elite firms, at Fortune 500 companies, and at networks of subcontractor firms that serve the Fortune 500 companies. An additional 25,000 graduates get H-1B work permits, jobs, and a path to citizenship.

If the universities’ supply of OPT, CPT, and H-1B workers did not exist, the companies would have to compete for the 800,000 Americans who graduate each year from the universities with hard-earned, technology-intensive degrees.

The programs are coming under increasing White House scrutiny, mainly because millions of swing-voting, college graduate Americans see their careers — and their children’s futures — being washed away by the Fortune 500’s flood of cheap visa workers.

The academics’ petition does not address the job competition or the immigration fraud allowed by online-only colleges. In 2019, for example, hundreds of India’s illegal migrant workers tried to get work permits by enrolling at what they thought was an online-only university in Pennsylvania.

The academic petition rejects the DHS’s compromise offer to provide student visas and work permits to foreigners if their colleges offer just three hours of face-to-face education. “If universities change course based on this ICE decision, it would mean putting their other students and faculty at risk, forcing all back into classrooms during a pandemic,” said the academics’ petition.

“This [DHS] policy is discriminatory,” the academics’ petition continues. “It fails to take into account the profound social and financial investments that international students have made in their often difficult decisions to embark on their educational journeys in the United States.”

The petition does not mention Americans’ “educational journeys in the United States.”

The petition does not mention the widespread admission by the education sector that foreign students pay roughly $30 billion to embark on their educational journeys in the United States.

But the academics do portray the payments as economic aid to Americans: “Not only do international students come with their own resources, but they also effectively subsidize higher education, making substantial contributions to the costs of public universities and their domestic students.”

The academics’ petition ends with a self-righteous flourish:

International students are students. They are also contributors to the growth of higher education in the US. We as educators reject the artificial distinction between foreign and domestic students, which undermines the pursuit of both knowledge and justice. We call on ICE to rescind its decision, and on our university leaders to join us … so [foreign students] do not have to make the impossible choice to return to their home countries in the context of a global pandemic.

“They’re openly saying the quiet part out loud — they’re saying they have no greater responsibility to their fellow Americans than they do to people abroad,” said Krikorian.

The academics disavow any national duty to Americans even though the Americans provide the academics with many favors and support, he said. Citizens pay for education bonds and salaries, support the academics’ tax breaks, free speech, tenure, status, and retirement.

By accepting tuition from foreigners in exchange for a path to U.S. jobs and green cards, the academics “are gaming the [immigration] system: They’re not simply ignoring it the way that coyotes smuggle people over the border,” Krikorian said. “But functionally, they are white-collar coyotes,” he added.

“That’s the logical result of the whole ‘Citizens of the World’ baloney — you obviously have no special moral responsibility to people in your own country than you have to people abroad … It is self-serving, but unconsciously self-serving,” he said.

“The [academics] know what is going on,” said Lynn. “They know that for any foreign student from abroad, the fee is not about the academics — it about a pathway to citizenship, and institutions of higher learning are only too happy to exploit that.”

But the academics are not hypocrites, Krikorian said.

“They’re doing well [from it], but they also see themselves as doing good because [they think] all immigration is morally and objectively speaking a good thing,” he said. “Hypocrisy is a politician screwing around and then saying he loves family values. These guys don’t see it as hypocrisy — which is because they believe their own press releases.”

“I think the main motivation that they’ll admit to themselves is a principle — in this case, the principle is they are privileging foreigners over Americans, the people they consider to be better than Americans,” Krikorian said.

Amid the academics’ protests, the vast majority of universities are seeking to comply with the very flexible July 6 DHS rules, which say that colleges must certify that “the program is not entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load this semester, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program.”

Before the March 13 loophole was created amid the coronavirus crash, foreign students were not allowed to take more than a few hours of online classes.

Just 8 percent of universities and colleges are offering online-only courses, according to a report on the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Foreign students are changing their schedules to enroll in face-to-face classes, according to a report in the New York Times. “Students at nearly a dozen universities started an online spreadsheet so that American students could try to swap in-person course spots with their foreign classmates.”

Universities are reacting to the restoration of the pre-coronavirus rule, according to the New York Times.

At the University of Arizona, where nearly 4,000 international students were enrolled last academic year, Brent White, the vice provost for global affairs, said the school would ensure that such students are all able to take in-person classes and remain in the United States.

“We will offer a hybrid educational model in the fall, [and] the University has advised our international students that they can maintain their visa status for now,” said a July 8 statement from the Dean of Yale’s law school.

Similarly, executives from Washington State University said they would comply with the DHS rules: “Plans are proceeding to ensure students enrolled in fall semester receive a balance of live and remote courses.”

The WSU letter did not hint at any cutback in foreign revenues, saying, “We stand with our international students—who already are dealing with a host of anxieties created by the current pandemic—and pledge to continue working to support them and reverse this federal decision.”

Both letters slammed the DHS for the anti-fraud policy. Yale’s dean claimed that it is “senseless and cruel. It forces students, faculty, and institutions to make a terrible choice, and it creates the possibility that students might have to leave the country at the height of a pandemic simply because public health conditions require a university to go online.”

Nationwide, roughly 500,000 OPT and CPT work permits are used by foreigners to take jobs sought by the American graduates of Harvard, MIT, and many additional famous or little-known colleges.

Many foreign students win jobs at elite companies, often with the help of co-ethnic hiring managers. The federal data shows that in 2018, Amazon used the OPT program to hire 2,911 foreigners, Intel hired 1,348 foreigners, Google hired 1,193, and Microsft hired 867.

The programs are supported by Fortune 500 companies that prefer to hire workforces of compliant foreign graduates instead of outspoken American graduates who can quit their jobs to create rival products. In fact, many of these elite companies have workforces and management teams that mostly consist of foreign graduates.

But the Fortune 500 companies also gain when the OPT program provides replacement workers to a huge variety of their little-known subcontracting companies.

Those subcontractor gig-worker jobs were once filled by young American graduates who were starting careers in technology accounting, management, and marketing.

The foreign OPT workers — mostly Indians — are willing to accept unpaid training, meager wages, and long hours because they want to work several years in America and because many are competing to get slots in the H-1B visa program. If they get into the H-1B program, they can get green cards in exchange for many years of compliant work, and sometimes, also for payments to their managers.

The OPT are paid minimal wages, boosting profits for the contractors and Fortune 500 companies, said Lynn, founder of U.S. Tech workers.

The OPT workers do not have to be paid for up to 150 days of training — and then can be traded to another company for more unpaid training. They can be paid legally below minimum wages while they are housed and fed in cramped company apartments, associating to statements by executives in the industry.

“We know they are being exploited, we know it hurts Americans,” said Lynn.

But the university lobbyists and academics are using the DHS rule to portray the migrants as pitiful victims of President Donald Trump, instead of as participants ie the labor-smuggling business, he said. “They’re going to show so many sob stories … What a racket,” he added.

So the new rule is a political error for the administration, Lynn said. OPT “should be ended, and the administration should be focused on that,” Lynn said.

One irony is that the academics are losing many academic jobs to the migrants. In 2016, Breitbart News reported that universities and colleges had used the H-1B visa-worker pipeline to import roughly:

21,754 professors, lecturers and instructors, 20,566 doctors, clinicians and therapists, 25,175 researchers, post-docs and biologists, plus 30,000 financial planners, p.r. experts, writers, editors, sports coaches, designers, accountants, economists, statisticians, lawyers, architects, computer experts and much else.


This data shows that universities have effectively outsourced 125,000 prestigious university jobs to foreign professionals, with the full support of the federal government, and amid the complete obliviousness of the U.S. media industry.

The 125,000 total is a reasonable accumulation of 90,000 H-IB workers, 30,000 post-2009 Green Card recipients and applicants, plus just 6,000 workers via the OPT, H-1B spouses or the J-1 “academic training” visa avenues.

Breitbart News has yet to find an academic study of the OPT graduates’ job histories.

White-collar Americans must be excluded from the OPT subcontractor economy because the Indian managers know that Americans are likely to expose cheating, discrimination, and corruption in the OPT and CPT jobs, former H-1B workers have told Breitbart News.

The government’s unlimited OPT and CPT programs also have a national economic impact.

They provide subsidized imported labor for employers in expensive coastal locations, so skewing the U.S. labor market. In turn, this process transfers jobs, careers, people, and wealth from interior states to the Democrat-dominated coastal states.

On June 22, President Donald Trump announced plans to revamp the H-1B program so that it cannot be used by Fortune 500 companies to fill up starter jobs with citizenship-seeking migrants.

The reform came as grassroots groups of American professionals campaign to keep their jobs and careers amid the aggressive outsourcing efforts by the Fortune 500 companies.


Follow Neil Munro on Twitter @NeilMunroDC, or email the author at



Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.