My friends and I had just recently graduated from a small, rural college in the 1990s. It was a bright and sunny day at the beginning of July. A lot of my classmates were still looking for jobs. And then Bill Clinton deported my buddy from Finland.
It’s kind of weird to look back and remember a time when our federal immigration agencies rigorously enforced the laws on the books. Back in those days, a foreign student had 30 days from their graduation date to make sure they were on a plane back home. My friend was holding out hope that he would be able to get a job as a Finnish-English translator at the UN, along with a visa sponsorship to stay in the US.
I figured his chances at getting the job were good because a) there were no Americans who could do that job, and b) no American would ever want that job in any circumstance.
He was highly skilled and spoke perfect English. If anybody deserved to stay, it was him. But the human resources department at the UN must have dragged its feet too long. On day 31 after graduation, a guy wearing a suit and a gun showed up from INS. He allowed my Finnish buddy to pack one suitcase and one carry-on bag – and then gave him a ride straight to the airport. I had to mail my buddy’s guitar to him in Helsinki.
None of us were angry or resentful about this. In fact, all of us including my Finnish friend were laughing about it as he was being deported. It was too bad, but the law was the law and he had technically switched categories from legal to illegal alien at midnight.
It’s also interesting to note that back in the days before internet or cell phones, the federal government knew exactly where he was when it was time to come pick him up and deport him. He had been an illegal alien for less than 24 hours when they scooped him up. Nowadays, INS can’t seem to find an illegal alien if he’s doing a livestream on Facebook and gives out his GPS coordinates.
The difference between then and now was that the elite donor class in America still cared about American graduates. Back when they wanted the law to be enforced, it was enforced. In 2019, foreign students can stay in the US for up to three years after they graduate. Actual federal law still states that they still have 30 days from graduation to go back home, but Obama rigged the system to favor foreign graduates over American grads.
Barack Obama signed an executive order in 2015 to create the F-1 Optional Practical Training visa, known as the F-1 OPT. This is one of Obama’s sleazier executive orders and most people don’t even know about it. It’s an especially evil program – not authorized by Congress – that replaces American college graduates on a direct one-to-one direct basis with foreign college graduates.
It gets worse.
Because the F-1 OPT visa holders are foreigners, employers have a huge incentive to hire them over American graduates. The employer and the foreign graduate don’t have to pay any FICA taxes, and they don’t pay into Social Security or Medicare. You might think that it’s a level playing field when an employer considers a foreign grad next to an American grad, who are both fresh-out-of-college with no job experience. But that’s not the case at all.
The foreign worker represents a 15% discount for the employer, because there are no FICA, Social Security or Medicare withholdings. The Center for Immigration Studies did the math, and the F-1 OPT visa program amounts to $2 billion per year that is not being paid into Social Security and Medicare.
In plain English, if you are a parent of a recent college graduate, you are subsidizing a program that takes away job opportunities from your own child while draining the social safety net for older Americans.
Meanwhile, Americans are being bombarded with messages that we need more Science, Technology, Engineering and Medical (STEM) graduates. We have so many STEM job openings that we just have to fill up those STEM college program slots to the brim!
But when American students graduate with a STEM field degree, their foreign competitors have a built-in 15% advantage with employers. Nearly half of American STEM graduates can’t find a job in a STEM-related field since Obama created the F-1 OPT visa.
What sort of sick, psychopathic weirdo would willingly do this to their own nation’s college graduates? Oh, right. Obama.