College student organizations are asking President Trump to suspend the H-1B visa and OPT programs while nearly 40 million Americans are jobless due to the Chinese coronavirus crisis.
In a letter to Trump obtained by Breitbart News, 30 college student organizations request that the OPT program be ended and the H-1B visa program be suspended to reduce white-collar labor market competition against American graduates seeking STEM jobs.
“We are writing to you today on behalf of concerned graduating college seniors and young professionals nationwide,” the college student organizations write:
Specifically, we ask you to immediately take action to rescind the work authorization of hundreds of thousands of foreign, nonimmigrant skilled guest workers in order to ease the economic suffering of American college students and recent graduates looking for meaningful employment in these trying times. [Emphasis added]
Made worse by the coronavirus economic crisis are the hundreds of thousands of nonimmigrant guest workers in the United States. These guest workers – and especially those in the OPT and H1B programs – take jobs temporarily at wages far below the average for their positions. This is because employers can easily pay these guest workers less than they pay Americans. This is not right. [Emphasis added]
As Breitbart News reported, the OPT program ensures that corporations like Amazon, Google, Deloitte, and Intel can continue to hire thousands of OPT foreign workers over American STEM graduates every year at a 15 percent discount. In 2017, alone, Amazon placed nearly 2,400 OPT foreign workers into white-collar STEM jobs that could have otherwise gone to American graduates.
Likewise, there are about 650,000 H-1B visa foreign workers in the U.S. at any given moment. Americans are often laid off in the process and forced to train their foreign replacements, as highlighted by Breitbart News. More than 85,000 Americans annually potentially lose their jobs to foreign labor through the H-1B visa program.
The college student organizations write:
You can make this right by ending the OPT program and suspending the H-1B program. Suspending all guest worker programs is ideal, but the OPT and H-1B schemes are especially egregious. We look forward to seeing what you do to help America’s college students and recent graduates.
The letter, sources told Breitbart News, is expected to be sent to Trump on Friday in anticipation that his existing immigration executive order may be expanded to decrease foreign competition against America’s blue-collar and white-collar workers.
“President Trump’s willingness and fervor in fighting for American workers propelled him to the White House in 2016,” San Diego State University College Republicans President Oliver Krvaric said in a statement:
Following through on his long-standing concern for the abuse of programs such as H-1B and OPT it not only an essential policy prescription but an important gesture to his base in the middle of a tough re-election campaign. Those within his orbit must also understand that there are plenty of young immigration restrictionists he must deliver for, and our movement is growing.
“As these young people around the country passionately note, President Trump must look out for their best interests and end the OPT program immediately,” Federation for American Immigration Reform’s (FAIR) RJ Hauman told Breitbart News.
Read the full letter here:
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.