dcblogs writes: The Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear a challenge against the optional practical training (OPT) program, which allows STEM graduates to work in the US for up to three years on an F-1 student visa. John Miano, the attorney representing WashTech, the labor group that filed the appeal, called the decision “amazing.” He said it “strips Congress of the ability to control nonimmigrant programs,” such as OPT, the H-1B program and other programs designed to provide temporary guest workers. In the most extreme example of what the decision could allow, Miano said it theoretically allows the White House to allow people on tourist visas to work. The decision “gives more authority to the federal government to do whatever it wants,” he said.
The OPT program allows STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduates to work for up to three years on an F-1 student visa. Critics of the program said it brought unfair competition to the American labor market. Ron Hira, associate professor of public policy at Howard University, said the U.S. administration of the OPT program is so poor that “the program effectively has no controls, no accountability, and no worker protections.”
A group of Senate Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, argued in briefs filed with the court that the federal government was using the OPT program to circumvent the annual cap on H-1B visas. More than 30 Republican House members also filed a brief in support.