Gosar Sponsors Fairness for High-Skilled Americans Act
Washington, July 23, 2021 | Jessica Lycos (202-379-6385)
WASHINGTON D.C. - Representative Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S (AZ-04) issued the following statements after joining Representatives Mo Brooks (AL-05), Andy Biggs (AZ-05) and Matt Gaetz (FL-01) in introducing the Fairness for High-Skilled Americans Act, legislation that would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the Optional Practical Training (OPT) Program.
“What country creates a program, but not a law, that rewards its businesses to fire citizen workers and replace them with foreign labor to pay the foreign labor less? The United States. The program is called OPT and it reflects a complete abandonment of our own workers.
At a time when American college graduates are struggling to find a job and many are saddled with student loans, our government should not be incentivizing foreign employees over Americans. This badly flawed government program should be eliminated,” said Rep. Paul Gosar.
“The Optional Practical Training Program (OPT), invented entirely through executive action, has become one of the largest guestworker programs in the United States. OPT openly undercuts American workers, particularly higher-skilled workers and recent college graduates, by giving employers an actual tax incentive to hire compliant, inexpensive foreign labor under the guise of "student training." We applaud Rep. Gosar's steadfast commitment to protecting American workers with the reintroduction of the Fairness for High-Skilled Americans Act," added Rosemary Jenks, Director of Government Relations, NumbersUSA.
“The America First Policy Institute supports Rep. Paul Gosar’s efforts to prioritize the interests, careers, and futures of American citizens. Congressional rectification of the Optical Practical Training Program, created in an act of executive overreach, is a crucial first step in ensuring that young Americans who have spent years and fortunes pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics have priority for jobs in those fields here in the United States. We owe it to current and future generations of Americans to stop treating them like second-class citizens and fight for a domestic economy that always puts them first,” stated John A. Zadrozny, Director for the Center for Homeland Security and Immigration, America First Policy Institute.
“Landing that first job out of college will only become more difficult for young Americans as our universities formalize the role they play in crowding out opportunities once reserved for American graduates. For this reason, OPT must be eliminated. I praise the efforts of Congressman Paul Gosar in drafting the Fairness for High Skilled Americans Act and encourage his colleagues in both the House and Senate to join him in protecting opportunities for America’s STEM graduates,” stated Kevin Lynn, Founder of U.S. Techworkers.
Background: OPT is a guest worker program administered by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that was never authorized by Congress and was greatly expanded by the Obama Administration. OPT circumvents the H-1B cap by allowing over 100,000 aliens admitted as foreign students to work for up to three years in the United States after graduation. These foreign workers are exempt from payroll taxes making them at least 10-15 percent cheaper than a comparable American worker.
Congressman Gosar first introduced the Fairness for High-Skilled Americans Act in the 116th Congress and has twice signed amicus briefs in support of American workers in their lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to eliminate OPT.