Some U.S.-based companies are discriminating against job-seeking American professionals and instead hiring job-hopping guest workers, including foreigners enrolled in colleges or holding H-1B visas.

The skewed hiring is visible in numerous online help-wanted ads, and in a legal settlement won this month by the Justice Department.

The ads use keywords — typically “OPT,” “CPT” or “H-1B” — to attract the attention of guest workers, while deterring applications by unemployed American professionals who normally search for conventional keywords, such as “software engineer,” “nurse,” “writer” or lawyer.”

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