What follows is a make-believe press release from the White House. But while the release is imaginary, the underlying facts are rock solid.
We are going to open up more than 140,000* good jobs for young American workers a couple of months from now, President Trump announced today.
We are going to put another billion dollars every year into the Social Security and Medicare trust funds for our elderly population.
No foreign worker will be tossed out of a job.
No industries will be raided.
How are we going to do all those good things?
We are going to abolish a program that has absolutely no authorization from Congress; it was dreamed up out of whole cloth by prior administrations. For all practical purposes it has been a secret known only to foreign workers and some employers.
It is called, misleadingly, the Optional Practical Training program. There is no training involved; it is simply a foreign worker program, and nothing more. It is a program that waves a magic wand over 140,000 alien college grads, and rules that these alumni are "students" again, and thus neither they nor their employers have to pay the usual payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare.
Eliminating the program will take away the subsidy that employers now get for hiring foreign workers rather than resident ones — a subsidy that comes out of the hides of our elderly citizens.
And the elimination will, without fuss or bother, raids or vetting, regulation writing or legislation, open up 140,000 jobs for our own residents. We simply are phasing out the OPT program; aliens that have these visas now can use them until they expire, but no new ones will be created.
The termination should have been done years ago, but it took this administration to do it.
* The 140,000 estimate is an extremely conservative one for the year 2013 by the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington research organization. The program has increased substantially since then. The estimate is based on the current 15.3 percent Social Security and Medicare taxes, and to an estimate that the OPT workers, all of whom are recent college grads, many in high tech fields, will be making $50,000 a year on average. The odds are that both the wage estimate and the number of OPT workers are higher than these estimates.