dcblogs writes: Foreign students in the federal Optional Practical Training (OPT) program often work long hours and for much less pay than their U.S. counterparts, according to Karen Panetta, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Tufts University, who appeared before the the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday for a hearing on immigration and women. Panetta said her students are being tortured by the visa process. "The students have worked long hours — 16 hour days — never questioning," said Panetta. They are "are very complacent" and don't want to be seen as making waves, she said. Panetta said the students are paid "substantially, magnitudes less" than U.S. workers.OPT allows foreign students holding bachelor's, master's or doctorate degrees to work on their student visas for up to 29 months. Another problem cited by Panetta, who was appearing on behalf of the IEEE, concerns H-1B workers used by offshore outsourcing firms. About 85% of these workers are male.