This case is of most interest to many of our QuantNet audience here since most of them will need to get OPT for internship and post graduation job opportunities. This case may eliminate the OPT program causing extreme hardship or virtually impossible to get a job after their MFE degree.
The Washington Alliance of Technology Workers has sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), arguing that OPT is unlawful. This plaintiff has brought a handful of cases against DHS; its goal is to declare OPT – a program that has existed in some form for more than seven decades – unlawful.
The court case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is separate from a potential Trump administration rule that may restrict Optional Practical Training, which currently allows international students to work for 12 months after graduation and 24 additional months in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. A summary of the administration’s rule proposal states: “ICE [Immigration and Custom Enforcement] will amend existing regulations and revise the practical training options available to nonimmigrant students on F and M visas.” (August 2020 is the date targeted for a proposed rule.)
The fate of Optional Practical Training is at issue in this case. The question is whether each year 100,000 or more international students may graduate from the best colleges and universities and complete their education in the United States by working for American companies. The alternative – the result the plaintiff seeks – is to shut this enormous talent pool out of the U.S. economy, causing these students to take their talents abroad.
An important case will decide whether foreign students can continue to work for companies in the U.S. on Optional Practical Training.