The federal government is helping giant multinational corporations such as Amazon and Google to reap a 15 percent discount every time foreign workers are hired over American college graduates, says Hilarie Gamm, author of Billions Lost: The American Tech Crisis and The Road Map to Change and co-founder of the American Workers Coalition.
During an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Tonight, Gamm explained how the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program provides a tax incentive, and thus a subsidy paid for by U.S. taxpayers, for corporations to hire foreign workers over American graduates.
“The OPT started … in the Bush administration and then what Obama did … was he went from creating something that allowed foreign children studying in the United States to work for like six months or a year to instead be able to work three years and then get a renewal for up to five to six years,” Gamm said.
“So what’s happening today is you’ll have children that are American citizens where their parents have basically bankrupted themselves to send their kids to these American universities and they’ll be sitting alongside their foreign friends who are … earning the same degree,” Gamm continued. “And those foreign children will have a job offer in hand when they graduate and the American child will not have even gotten an interview for that same company.”
As Gamm explained, corporations like Amazon, Google, Deloitte, and Intel employ thousands of OPT foreign workers over American STEM graduates every year. In 2017, alone, Amazon had placed nearly 2,400 OPT foreign workers into white-collar STEM jobs that could have otherwise gone to American graduates.
The incentive for Amazon and others to hire OPT foreign workers comes in the form of a 15 percent discount that has allowed multinational corporations to evade at least $20 billion to $30 billion in FICA taxes over the years.
“OPT is not a visa and so it is not administered by USCIS. It is actually administered by ICE … so the worker — the foreign student that is graduating — as well as their employer are exempt from paying FICA taxes. So they are not contributing to Social Security or Medicare,” Gamm said.
“So where a Jane Doe is hired and they have to contribute and pay into Medicare and Social Security when they have a job because they are an American citizen and then their employer, let’s say Deloitte, has to contribute as well,” Gamm said. “In the case of an OPT candidate and hire, neither the … worker or Deloitte has to pay … anything if they are an OPT hire. They don’t pay Medicare contributions and they don’t pay Social Security contributions.”
“That represents a 15.3 percent tax incentive for the employer to hire an OPT worker rather than an American citizen,” Gamm continued. “It is estimated to translate into over $2 billion a year.”
Gamm said the OPT program is merely a federal program that allows the federal government “and our American citizens to subsidize our most successful corporations.”
“I don’t think that Amazon needs our subsidy,” Gamm said.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has introduced legislation, the Fairness for High-Skilled Americans Act, to end the OPT program and decrease foreign job competition for America’s working and middle class STEM graduates.
Despite corporations’ claims that there is a shortage of American workers to take coveted high-paying, white-collar jobs in the STEM fields, about four million young Americans enter the workforce each year. Many American workers have spoken out about how they were fired, replaced, and forced to train their foreign replacements.
Breitbart News Tonight broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot channel 125 weeknights from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern or 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.