Last year’s ruling on STEM OPT (optional practical training for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) granted students in those fields a three year post-graduation authorization to work in the United States. This year, the future of that ruling is in question.
Speaking with Bloomberg BNA, I stated that there would surely be a court battle if the program was rescinded. I added that any argument that STEM OPT was somehow illegal would be very dubious. One likely argument ICE could claim is that the regulation is an economic disadvantage to American students. Yet, we’ll just have to wait and see exactly how they go about rescinding STEM OPT, if they do.
I also spoke with The PIE News (Professionals in International Education) to explain the legal case for maintaining STEM OPT:
“A federal court has already held that the Department of Homeland Security had the statutory authority to publish a rule extending OPT to students in STEM fields. The court noted that since at least 1947, the immigration agency has interpreted the immigration laws to allow foreign students to engage in employment for practical training purposes. During all that time, Congress acquiesced to that interpretation.”
The Bloomberg BNA article is at https://www.bna.com/work-program-foreign-n73014470707/. The PIE News article is at https://thepienews.com/news/us-work-restrictions-harmful-to-economy/.