Letter to USCIS regarding Foreign Students Growth in US Universities - Use this as an example
I want to express my concerns about OPT program which has wrecked havoc on future of American children who want to get admission in STEM programs in good Universities in USA. OPT program needs to be eliminated completely or seriously reformed.
I am a father from CA writing this letter to bring your attention to the increasing trend of foreign students being accepted over US citizens and lawful permanent residents from 2008 onwards in the University of California system in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Majors and more and more (STEM) jobs being awarded to non- American citizens. It is a nationwide phenomenon; the same problem is present in universities in other states also. Even the community colleges and state universities have been taking much larger population of foreign students and the percentage of foreign students is much higher in prestigious private schools. For example: around 85-90% of students coming from India are going in STEM majors. It is not that foreign students became more intelligent after 2008, graduating students from CA high schools applying to UC’s are far better prepared now. Please go through this letter to understand the main reasons behind sharp increase of foreign students in universities across United States. As we all know the college admissions process is not very transparent and can be easily gamed, this problem is forcing domestic students to get STEM education in expensive private universities or choose Non-STEM major.
UC Info center is a very useful website published by UC’s and you can clearly see that in most desirable campuses such as UC Berkley, UC San Diego, UCLA, and UCI, number of foreign students in STEM majors in undergraduate level has gone up by many folds since 2008.
At UC San Diego – Foreign students Undergraduate students in Physical Sciences went up from 3% to 30% from 2008 to 2018.
At UCLA – Foreign students Undergraduate students in Physical Sciences went up from 7% to 31% from 2008 to 2018.
At University of California Info center, you can see exactly when the foreign student population started growing at much faster pace in University of California system. We spent lot of time at University of California info center in extracting the data for purpose of this study.
It has become more difficult for US citizens and lawful permanent residents living in California to get admission in University of California system especially in the STEM majors. Possibility of getting higher paying jobs for legal US residents is going down due to this phenomenon.
Foreign students are willing to pay the highest tuition costs in the beginning but eventually they are able to find work, which reduces their costs. Most of the foreign students are able to find some sort of income generating work either legally or in unreported ways.
Extension of optional practical training known as OPT program (unlimited OPT Visa spots for STEM majors) for STEM majors to 3 years from one year and granting OPT after every degree such as AA, BS, MS, PhD, which resulted in foreign students coming here at much younger age and taking large percentage of STEM spots at undergraduate levels. Percentage of foreign students at graduate level in STEM majors is astronomically high. It is very easy to get a job on OPT due to lower wages being offered to OPT candidates, prevalence of gig economy and getting paid cash, lack of license requirement in many professions etc., Expansion of the list of majors or study programs such as business, accounting etc., which can qualify as STEM major thus making more students eligible for OPT. Imagine foreign student coming here at the age of 18 and receiving three years of OPT after every degree, it assures their stay for 15-20 years. There are plenty of IT consulting companies in US which hire workers on OPT. Large percentage of the workers in IT work as consultants, who charge American fees from clients and get most of the work done in India and also violate other US labor laws.
Workers on H1-B, F-1, and OPT program and many other types of visa categories can bring their spouses along with them immediately after getting these types of visas and give birth to US citizens which ultimately become eligible for free education and many other benefits through our K-12 school system and social welfare system. Much older students have started coming to US for higher education due to OPT extensions and awarding of multiple OPT terms basically OPT after every degree. Many have children in US so children can sponsor their parents later. OPT has become a major gateway of immigration not higher education.
Immigrants through DACA program qualifying as California resident even though they are not US citizens nor lawful permanent residents. UC’s are publishing misleading statistics, percentage of US Citizens and lawful permanent residents is lower than the published numbers, all students classified in CA residents category are not US Citizens and lawful permanent residents.
Fraud in foreign credentials being submitted to universities and lack of proper screening methods for foreign education credentials at UC’s and other educational institutes
Exponential growth of educational consultancy businesses and easy availability of higher education loans in Asian countries are resulting in massive fraud in college admissions process such as forging transcripts, credentials, references, resumes, applications, application essays etc., educational consulting and tutoring is a 45 billion industry in relatively poor country such as India and it is much bigger industry in China. Our universities have extremely limited source resources devoted to screening of applicants. As per the data from global cities initiative report (joint project of Brookings Institute and JP Morgan Chase), students from ten cities in the world are almost 22% of foreign student population in US due to awareness and availability of foreign education consultants in these cities.
Number of engineering colleges in certain countries like India has grown 100 times over last 25 years resulting in abundance of students who are willing to get out of India with any possible way. A large percentage of these engineering colleges have very limited resources to provide education, corrupt system allows these colleges to get operational licenses. Employability of Indian educated engineers is less than 7% in India. Other countries are exploiting our weaknesses to send more students here. Cost of education also went up in India and other countries which led students to find all possible ways to get out of there. India has reservation system in educational institutes and most of the government jobs are given based on caste, ethnic background and other factors. American universities do not verify that students got admissions in general category or reserved categories. Quotas in jobs and admissions to colleges at every level for public entities including teaching jobs in public institutes, and availability of fake degrees is very easy. There is no creativity in Indian education system, education system is extremely corrupt. Quality of life has gone down in India and other South East Asian countries due to horrible pollution, lack of clean water, unhygienic living conditions, and adulteration of food chain. People are desperate to leave their countries. Even a small country such as Nepal is sending tens of thousands of students every year to US now.
Parents from Countries such as China, Korea and other countries are dropping their kids in CA with local guardians at much younger age and these kids are ultimately going to colleges here, many of these receive free K-12 education here. Birth tourism from Asian countries has been going on for decades.
School Districts do not check the residency status frequently enough which results in enormous additional burden for school districts as people abuse the free K-12 education system. Some school districts in CA such as Death Valley school district are spending $70,000 per year on each pupil enrolled.
Illegal immigrants, tourists, visa overstays, asylum, and people on many other visa categories intentionally arriving in the US for having their children born here to take advantage of US citizenship by birth privilege and get many other benefits such as free K-12 education. Giving a birth to child in United States is one of the top priorities of workers on H1-B, OPT and workers in many other categories who are not married to US citizen spouses.
There are many more factors increasing the foreign students over Americans but this is being kept brief. Other factors responsible for much higher percentage of foreign students at graduate level are shorter waiting period to get permanent residency after PhD, professors using students as cheaper research workers, dissecting one research publication in to multiple, professors need to publish papers in order to get their tenure, ethnic preference of students etc.,
Students graduating from our CA high schools are much more academically ready for college; tuition fees for domestic students have gone up yet the odds of securing a spot in good majors such as STEM are decreasing every year.
As a concerned parent and US citizen, I am requesting following solutions;
1. OPT should be only for one year and one time only and not after every degree or it should be completely eliminated.
2. We need to institute proper screening checks prior to granting admissions to foreigners to cut back on fraud in college application process. Whatever written in the application package needs to verified or foreign students need to be tested academically prior to starting school in USA.
3. Need better screening methods before granting immigrant visas or any other types of visas. Get rid of birth citizenship as this is the biggest loophole which people on many visa categories exploit to get resources from this country.
4. We need to establish a database of fingerprints of students, students take classes and exams for each other, and online education system is full of loopholes.
5. Eliminate double standards in college admissions, and stop discrimination against domestic students.
6. Institute proper counseling and guidance procedures at our educational institutes.
7. Need to adjust seats in various disciplines as per the job market trends, we cannot provide subsidized education for majors which might only have hobby value.
8. Strengthen our community college education system to provide opportunities for vocational education. Vocational education opportunities are very limited.
9. Provide opportunities of higher education to those who are legally eligible to work in this country.
10. Many countries are benefiting with our extensive research budget, we are educating foreign students who might be selling out intellectual property to other nations. We need to spend money wisely.
11. Encourage additional home schooling and self-learning opportunities for high school students who wish to graduate with STEM specializations. We need to give much more weightage to proctored tests than those to assignments.
12. We need to check the residency requirements in our K-12 schools every year to ensure students receiving free education and other benefits do qualify by law for those benefits. Issuing vouchers for education to legal citizens is another way to curb fraud.
Our laws should be amended for only allowing US citizenship to those children born to at least one parent who is already a US citizen, restricting foreign student admissions back to pre-2008 levels, and reforming the DACA program. These are my suggestions to place American citizens as first choice rather than second during University of California admissions as well as during job placement.