Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers could question international students and company managers during new site visits underway to investigate students on Optional Practical Training (OPT) in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. This is the latest in a series of actions by the Trump administration aimed at companies, high-skilled professionals and international students.
If one looks at the May 2016 STEM OPT regulation, it’s clear ICE can review a number of aspects of an international student’s work at an employer that might not have been subject to oversight in the past. This includes examining documentation to determine whether a student in STEM OPT status is being paid properly according to the regulation. The 2016 rule states: “To guard against adverse impacts on U.S. workers, the rule requires terms and conditions of a STEM practical training opportunity to be commensurate with those applicable to similarly situated U.S. workers.”