Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Uncle Sam Sends Ag Students a Booby Prize for Graduation"

I read an article out of Washington D.C. today regarding U.S citizen college seniors in the Agricultural Sciences just got a dose of bad news from their government.
The Department of Homeland Security has announced that seniors in these fields who are either citizens or permanent residents will now be competing with foreign students on a distinctly uneven field when they seek jobs after graduation.
Their prospective employers will receive a 7.65% bonus if they hire foreign seniors in these fields, rather than American one's, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington. This bias against citizen and legal resident workers results from a twist in the tax and immigration laws.
This twist in immigration laws involves Homeland Security and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) which has the power, without consulting Congress, to grant exemptions from Social Security and Medicare taxes to foriegn students here on F-1 visas.
While this exemption usually applies to foreign students while in college, ICE has extended it, in certain listed occupations, to foreign students for up to the first 29 months after they graduate. This could save the employer - assuming 29 months of employment at, say $50K a year - a whopping $9,244 in avoided taxes when compared with hiring a U.S citizen or permanent resident.
"It's a strange way to help Americans get jobs and balance the budget".

This article can be read in its entirety in the Lancaster Farming, May 21, 2011.

I have worked in the Agricultural / Turf & Ornamental Industry for 37 years, not including four years at Del-Val college, and four years in Vo-Ag at Allentown High School.

I have seen many changes and certainly many advancements in the Industry, but this is just plain outrageous!

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