The Biden administration is eliminating an office that was recently created to protect many millions of American graduates — including Biden’s young voters — from government-fueled corporate discrimination in hiring, pay, and workplace rights.
The worker-rights office was announced January 13 by President Donald Trump’s deputies and canceled January 26 by Biden’s deputies.
The short-lived office was intended to document and expose the corporate discrimination against Americans that is fueled by the huge Occupational Practical Training (OPT) program.
In 2019, the OPT program provided work permits to 400,000 foreign graduates so they can take the jobs and opportunities needed by graduates — including Biden’s voters — under rules that make foreign workers much cheaper to hire and easier to manage than American graduates are. OPT workers are foreign, temporary, contract workers — not immigrants.
The Biden cancellation is bad news for the many college students and graduates who pulled the lever for Biden in November 2020, said Kevin Lynn, founder of U.S. Tech Workers, which fights the replacement of American graduates. “Biden was selected by the corporatocracy [which sees] no role for American graduates,” he said. American graduates “are not needed” by employers who can import many compliant, cheap, and disposable foreign workers, he said.
Correspondingly, the cancellation was celebrated by the immigration lawyers who help Fortune 500 CEOs import foreigners to take the jobs needed by young Americans, including many debt-burdened black and Latino graduates.
On the same day, the administration canceled another graduate protection plan leftover from the Trump administration.
The plan — which was blocked by corporate insiders in Trump’s White House — was to halt the award of work permits to the spouses of the almost one million H-1B foreign contract workers who have jobs in the United States. This H4EAD program was created by President Barack Obama — not by Congress — and it added another 250,000 foreign contract workers who compete for jobs against American graduates.
The cancellation was celebrated by Aaron Reichlin-Melnick. He is a Twitter spokesman for the investor-backed American Immigration Council, which is a spinoff of the American Immigration Lawyers Association:
Biden’s officials have also canceled a recent move by the Department of Labor to limit the outsourcing of U.S. jobs via the huge H-1B program. They are also expected to undermine other Trump regulations that help protect American graduates from the H-1B program.
The administration’s actions match the demands of its corporate donors and cheerleaders, such as the major universities that help deliver the OPT work permit to fee-paying foreign graduates.
Biden’s team is also backed by many corporate employers of OPT and H-1B workers, including Google, Facebook, Salesforce, Apple, Amazon, Deloitte, Microsoft, and their trade groups. For example, Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us advocacy group praised the preservation of the H4EAD program, which has helped keep married H-1B contract workers from leaving the United States:
We commend the Biden-Harris Administration for taking immediate action to turn the page from the Trump-Pence Administration’s disastrous immigration policies, and to do right by more than 100,000 hardworking immigrants who are contributing to the United States every single day in the midst of a deadly pandemic.
The FWD.us group also praised the Biden team for dropping a draft “unlawful presence” rule that would require the foreign student to go home after they get credentials from U.S. colleges. Without the rule, many foreign graduates overstay their visas and work as white-collar illegal aliens in the jobs needed by American graduates.
The Trump administration announced the OPT office on January 13.
The agency “is currently unable to evaluate the impact OPT has had on U.S. workers and foreign students who have obtained work authorization through the programs,” said the January 13 message from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program within the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.
“To remedy this, SEVP is announcing the development of a new unit — the OPT Employment Compliance Unit — that will be dedicated full-time to compliance matters involving wage, hours, and compensation … the first report will be published on ICE.gov by July 31, 2021,” said the statement. It continued:
For example, if the unit were to detect evidence that an employer is using OPT in a discriminatory manner (e.g., as a means to hire only foreign nationals, or only individuals of certain nationalities to the exclusion of others), or in a manner that negatively impacts wages, this unit may notify DOL and the U.S. Department of Justice of such evidence, where HSI is unable to address such matters, so that the evidence can be investigated further.
The loss of employment many U.S. workers have faced since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as employers lay off significant portions of their workforce (while still, in some cases, seeking to hire more foreign workers), makes this work particularly timely.
On January 26, Biden’s deputies announced they would cancel the transparency program:
After conducting an additional review of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s optional practical training (OPT) compliance effort, the program determined that it is already performing much of the work outlined in the Broadcast Message. As such, the creation of the new unit is not necessary at this time.
Before Trump’s arrival, the federal government released minimal information about the huge OPT program. In 2018, Trump’s deputies released some limited information, allowing Breitbart News and the FBI to expose widespread fraud.
But the federal government provides little information about the jobs and wages lost to the OPT program. The federal website provides some basic data about annual numbers, the major OPT employers, that the universities which profit from the OPT program. But the agency provides little data about the operation of the program, the wages paid to OPT, workers, the many small companies that use OPTs to fill Fortune 500 outsourcing contracts, or about reported hiring discrimination against Americans.
However, many foreign and American workers tell Breitbart News that the OPT program — and its sister program, the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) program — provides the workforce for the lowest level of the Fortune 500’s labor pyramid.
The OPT and CPT workers — plus many white-collar illegal aliens and overstays — work long hours at meager pay because they hope to get promoted into full-time jobs and then into the H-1B program. They want to get into the H-1B program because it allows them to eventually get green cards.
The one million-plus foreign workers in this Green Card Workforce displace many American graduates from vital gateway jobs in science, software, accountancy, or health care. The flood of labor in this hidden pyramid also cuts salaries for college graduates — and boosts stock prices for investors and older Americans — including the parents and teachers of the American graduates.
For example, a group of economists estimated in January that Trump’s recent curbs on corporate use of H-1B contract workers nicked the stock market value of Fortune 500 companies “by about 0.45% — representing a total loss of around $100 billion.”
Other evidence suggests that the Fortune 500’s reliance on many foreign contract workers is sidelining qualified Americans, damaging corporate innovation, helping China, and also diverting investment, jobs, and wealth from central states to the coastal states.
However, Lynn and his member of American professionals are trying to raise awareness of how the OPT program pushes young Americans out of good careers.
“The OPT work permit masquerades workers as ‘students,’ so employers are under no obligation to pay them fair market wages,” Lynn noted, adding:
The Biden Administration is under the false delusion that these international students are the best and brightest in the world, so deserve to stay here permanently. Research by the [left-wing] Economic Policy Institute shows that the majority of these students are not the best and brightest, and are entering low-ranked US universities with low entrance requirements [to get work permit]. Universities profit because international students pay full freight tuition, while American students are graduating with immense student loan debt and having to now compete with OPT work-permit holders.
The ICE data shows that the OPT program delivers many foreign workers into Fortune 500 jobs, where managers have a lot of freedom to hire within their own ethnic networks. For example, since 2003, Amazon has hired 12,173 people via the program, while Deloitte has hired 5,799 foreign graduates, and Apple has hired 2,667 people.
The multiracial, cross-sex, nonracist, class-based, and solidarity-themed opposition to labor migration coexists with generally favorable personal feelings toward legal immigrants and toward immigration in theory — despite the media magnification of many skewed polls and articles that still push the 1950’s “Nation of Immigrants” claim.
Migration allows investors and CEOs to skimp on labor-saving technology, sideline U.S. minorities, ignore disabled people, exploit stoop labor in the fields, shortchange labor in the cities, and impose tight control pay cuts on American professionals.
Migration also helps corral technological innovation by minimizing the employment of American graduates, undermine Americans’ labor rights, and redirect progressive journalists to cheerlead for Wall Street’s priorities and claims.