Trump is now targeting the STEM OPT program in his continued efforts to discourage legal high-skilled immigration to the United States. STEM OPT currently allows over 40,000 foreign STEM students at U.S. universities to work in the U.S. in a STEM field for three years after graduation. President Bush conceived the program, Obama extended it, and now Trump is trying to end it, which will only hamper America's leading position in the world. What does this say about Trump’s professed support of a merit-based immigration system? And from a larger perspective, what message does it send about America’s historical role as a nation that welcomes immigrants and benefits from their economic and cultural contributions?
Timothy R. Bakken