Though the agency has had authority to make visits since May 2016, ICE has just begun site visits concerning students in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The purpose of the visits would be to “guard against adverse impacts on U.S. workers,” and could include individual interviews with personnel, a review of a noncitizen’s training plan, a determination whether the noncitizen is being paid properly compared to a U.S. citizen, and review of the noncitizen worker’s background and degree in relation to STEM. Critics argue that this an attempt by the Trump administration to restrict high-skilled legal immigration, as there are concerns that this is aimed primarily at immigrants: there are no specific penalties for employer violations, but if an immigrant or their employer is found to not be working in accordance with the OPT plan, the OPT may be terminated for that noncitizen worker.

– Weekly Immigration Briefing by Olivia Hester, Immigration Law Analyst at Docketwise 

Posted in: Immigration