Possible Changes Under Draft Executive Orders: Revising the F-1 Student Regulations

February 10, 2017

 

An unpublished "leaked" draft of an Executive Order entitled Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Worker Visa Programs contains the following provision:

(4)(a) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall -

...

(vii) propose for notice and comment a regulation that would reform practical training programs for foreign students to prevent the disadvantaging of U.S. students in the workforce, better protect U.S. and foreign workers affected by such programs, restore the integrity of student visa programs, ensure compliance, and improve monitoring of foreign students.

Source: An unpublished "leaked" draft of an Executive Order entitled Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Worker Visa Programs, transmitted by a putative "Memorandum for the President" from Andrew Bremberg, Assistant to the President, dated January 23, 2017.

Status: This draft Executive Order has not yet been verified, nor has it been published or signed by the President. Any similar Executive Order that might eventually be issued by the President may differ from the version considered here

Action: "...propose for notice and comment a regulation..." This paragraph would instruct DHS to develop and publish a proposed rule, following the notice and comment process of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). For background on the regulatory process, see NAFSA's General Rulemaking Process Under the APA resource.

Timeline: Paragraph (4)(a)(vii) does not specify a required timeline in which DHS would have to act on this charge.

The Parts and the Whole: Let's parse the rather dense paragraph to identify its discrete parts. DHS would be directed to address the following aspects in a proposed rule it develops and eventually publishes in the Federal Register for public comment:

  1. Reform practical training programs for foreign students to prevent the disadvantaging of U.S. students in the workforce
  2. Better protect U.S. and foreign workers affected by practical training programs
  3. Restore the integrity of student visa programs
  4. Ensure compliance
  5. Improve monitoring of foreign students

These items are very broad in scope, and deal with F-1 student policy and likely SEVIS too. The Executive Order provides no further detail beyond these general directives.