The Department of Homeland Security is readying a plan to expand a program that pays U.S. employers to hire foreign STEM students taught in America, a move that could end up punishing American college grads and even the elderly, according to an immigration think tank.
In pushing to allow more foreign students into the so-called â€œoptional practical training program,â€ DHS said that it will help businesses and colleges by keeping those foreign students in the U.S. following their American-taught science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, curriculum.
But the Center for Immigration Studies said it will punish American STEM students competing for those same jobs. And, they added, in adjusting how the foreign students are categorized as employees, they get out of paying payroll taxes used to help fund programs like Social Security and Medicare.
Currently, the program urges companies to hire STEM students for a year. CIS said firms are paid up to $10,000 to participate. The new proposal, said CIS, is to add on another year and $2,000 in bonuses.