REPORT: HUGE Increase Reported in Ranks of Foreign STEM Workers in U.S.
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A recently released study found a 400 percent increase in the number of foreign students graduating from American universities and then remaining to work in technology fields, but several experts questioned the economic justification.
The Pew Research Center examined government data related to the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program after expansions during the previous two presidential administrations. The program allows foreign students studying in the United States to work legally in the United States after completing their academic studies — ostensibly to gain experience as part of their education.
The article goes on to state the following:
Under executive actions, the maximum length of employment under OPT more than doubled to 29 months beginning in 2008 and tripled to 36 months in 2016. A majority of the participants during those years have worked in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs.
The data collected by Pew show that the number of participants approved for STEM employment jumped from 34,000 in 2008 — the year of the first expansion — to 172,000 in 2016, when the second expansion took effect.
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