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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

WHITE HOUSE USES EXECUTIVE ACTION TO ASSIST STEM STUDENTS

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ICE has published an expanded list of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs that qualify students seeking a 27 month post-studies employment authorization card rather than the usual 12 month card. The expansion includes a number of new fields which is welcome though the absence of clinical health care fields that are facing critical shortages is not. Given the demand for H-1B visas, the ability to work for 27 months in Optional Practical Training should give American-educated foreign graduate students an advantage over their counterparts overseas, something that makes sense given the fact that the US provided some or all of their advanced education.


The Obama Administration is touting the move by ICE in a new White House Immigration Report that ties in to the renewed attention being given to the issue. Of course, there's a contradiction between the President's rhetoric and what he has just done. This move is precisely the kind of action that the President stated he was powerless to do because it is Congress' role, not his. And as I've noted, as the Chief Executive, his role is more than to just sign and veto bills. He has been given broad powers by Congress to administer the immigration system and can do much to fix things without Congress having to do anything other than authorize money.


President Bush was very creative in using his executive authority in 2008 to solve the problem of students being shut out of the H-1B quota when he established the STEP OPT program and I am glad that President Obama is building on what is a successful initiative. Hopefully, our President will use a similar approach to address other broken parts of the US immigration system.

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Comments

  1. Frank W.'s Avatar
    Suggestion to Greg Siskind:
    The organization(s) that represent Immigration Lawyers in the United States should deliver an open letter to President Obama addressing in detail the points you have mentioned in this article(regarding Executive powers).
  2. Anon's Avatar
    Agree with Frank completely. I fail to understand why the Nurse/PT Schedule A bill has not be considered. This will not only help the candidates but the US population in general in terms of healthcare needs at a time when healthcare costs are still rising.
  3. Anon's Avatar
    Where is Mr. Wexler who sponsored the previous bill in 2009?

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-2536

    At least he or someone should get this done via an executive action soon.
  4. Another Voice's Avatar
    WOW he found his b......lls!!! Sorry do not mean to be offensive just jubilation!!!
  5. Jkl's Avatar
    Not even a single advance degree nursing program included in the list, the question is why not?
  6. xstal c's Avatar
    as a licensed architect, i have never heard of "architectural engineering" "architectural technology/drafting technician" as a degree. while all of these variations are included in the Stem list, "Architecture" itself is not included...the question is why?
  7. Hmmm's Avatar
    Number 52 - Management Science - What is it? Does is mean an MBA. Many foreign students wishing to start companies here do MBA from big universities as well. What about them? And I keep hearing that we should encourage from starting companies here rather than in India or China.
  8. sree's Avatar
    Please could you kindly tell if Master of Public Health (MPH) program is included? There is Nutrition sciences, guess would MPH come under it? Thank you very much
  9. dexter's Avatar
    will accounting be considered a part of management science ?
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