Biden Administration Kills Two Trump Foreign Worker Reforms

By David North on January 27, 2021

An unnamed entity to "study the abuses in the Optional Practical Training program", belatedly birthed during the last two weeks of the Trump administration, has already been killed by the Biden administration, according to Breitbart.

The entity was created on January 13 and killed on January 26, when it was less than two weeks old.

The OPT program grants 8.25 percent subsidies to U.S. employers if they hire alien graduates of U.S. colleges and universities, a subsidy not available if the employer hires a citizen (or green-card) graduate. It is a huge program covering hundreds of thousands of aliens, many hoping to get longer-term visas and jobs in the (unsubsidized) H-1B program.

To add insult to injury, the subsidies to employers are taken out of the hides of ailing, elderly, and unemployed Americans, as the nonpayment of these deductions of 8.25 percent of payroll taxes reduce income for the Medicare, Social Security, and federal unemployment insurance trust funds. At least $2 billion a year is lost in this way; the three funds are on shaky enough footings without these OPT-created losses.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has, according to one news account, decided to withdraw a Trump proposal to eliminate work permits for a specific (and large) subset of aliens, mostly from India. These are spouses (more than 90 percent of them women) married to H-1B workers who are on the long track to green card status; these are H-4s. The Obama administration, without congressional approval, made it possible for them to receive work authorizations.

One thing you can say about the H-4 program, however, is this: There are no subsidies to workers or employers.

Did I find out about these two steps backward from government press releases, or the mainstream media? Hardly.

Breitbart News is the right-wing news source started by the recently pardoned Steve Bannon, and the H-4 news was reported by the Times of India.