The Department of Homeland Security is inviting public comment about a controversial rule that allows employers to retain foreign students for a longer period of time in the country.
DHS had, earlier this month, formulated an "interim rule" allowing employers to hire foreign students holding F-1 visas for "Optional Practical Training" for 29 months as opposed to the hitherto 12 months. The rule, applicable to almost 20,000 new graduate students holding degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) annually (in addition to a fresh batch of 65,000 H1B visa holders, also arriving annually), poses a threat to American graduates finding gainful employment, as more people flood the job market, which is already under stress by a high unemployment rate nationwide.
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I think it is important that we start getting a public record on what is happening with H-1b expansion. So far, the H-1b program has been an unmitigated disaster for the US leaving in its wake corpses like Enron.
If the US wants to compete effectively with fast growing economies like those in the Far East, we need an immigration system at least as good as what they have in countries like Singapore, where companies can get visas rather rapidly-but pay a fair amount for the privilege of using foreign workers and thus there are some real protections in place for local workers in Singapore.