Home Immigration Lawyer The Notorious OPT Program Can’t Be Mended, So It Must Be Ended

The Notorious OPT Program Can’t Be Mended, So It Must Be Ended


At an October 21 press conference, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officers introduced the arrest of 15 out of the country student-workers for fraudulently claiming to be working for corporations that didn’t exist. In addition, as many as 1,100 out of the country nationals taking part within the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program both may have their permits revoked or not renewed. 

The actions are the preliminary results of Operation OPTical Illusion, a regulation enforcement operation which started in January with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) brokers investigating OPT employers to ascertain their validity once they found many OPT college students have been working for a similar business, which didn’t truly exist, in line with Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli.

In his remarks, Cuccinelli confused that since virtually 99
% of staff have already graduated once they achieve employment, OPT “is
extra a piece program that locations these out of the country nationals in direct competitors”
with U.S. staff. Therefore, combatting ongoing fraud serves one other function
as a result of it “will open up those jobs for American workers,” he added.

“What now we have seen on this space is what I might call not
doubtless complicit, however a willful ignorance or a stage of negligence that leads
us down the trail of terminating their function as designated faculty officers,” stated
the appearing director of designated faculty officers (DSOs), whose sole
accountability is overseeing OPT college students.

But there are additionally bigger nationwide safety pursuits to be
served in bringing alleged fraudsters to justice.

“The unlucky actuality is that criminals, terrorists and
different nationwide safety threats have exploited and can proceed to use the
visa course of in furtherance of their illicit endeavors,” stated ICE Senior
Official Performing the Duties of the Director Tony Pham of the outcomes of
Phase 1 of the operation.

Pham’s warning echoed these of earlier ICE officers.

“It is something that can be exploited by types who want to do harm to the country,” acknowledged Claude Arnold, a DHS particular agent throughout the Obama administration, after a 2015 raid led to the arrests of three people for working pretend universities.

Pham and Arnold’s issues about nationwide safety are in stark
distinction to the fecklessly canned response from college particular interest

Esther Brimmer, govt director of NAFSA: Association of International Educators responded with a defensive assertion that ignored the hurt the fraud does to reputable out of the country college students and American graduates alike.

“What is obvious is that this administration feels justified
in making worldwide college students, and now the varsity officers that assist
them scapegoats for the nation’s financial woes, at a time when it may possibly
ill-afford to take action,” stated Brimmer in a press release absent any concern for the
Americans standing within the unemployment line as OPT staff sat in
illegally-obtained jobs.

Operation OPTical Illusion is merely the most recent argument
made for ending, not mending, a program that acts as nothing greater than a
springboard to H-1B visas and cheats certified Americans out {of professional}

Why not attempt to mend it?

Consider the arguments made by lawmakers and assume tanks on each side of the political spectrum, as well as non-partisan authorities organizations:

Maybe Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) makes the only
case for lastly killing OPT.

“Attaching a green card to each international student’s diploma would only accelerate this process and crowd more and more American students out of a chance to achieve their dreams,” Grassley said throughout a July 2011 Senate committee listening to.


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