“Today the J-1 program has morphed into a low-wage jobs program to allow corporations like Hershey's and McDonald's and many others to replace young American workers with cheaper labor from abroad,” Sanders said.
Sanders said his amendment would restore the J-1 program’s status as a genuine cultural exchange, not a jobs program. He said employers prefer to hire the foreign students because their wages are not subject to Social Security, Medicare and other taxes that businesses would owe on U.S. workers.
For the rest of June, the Senate is expected to consider and vote on amendments to the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.
The bipartisan group of eight senators, known as the Gang of Eight, introduced S. 744, which would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country, toughen border security, create a guest worker program and boost high-skilled immigration.