Opinion | Au Revoir, Au Pairs

Liza came to my family from Ukraine in 2015 after Russia invaded her homeland. Seeking safety and opportunity in America, she applied for and was accepted into the U.S. au pair program, lived with us for two years and learned to love this country. Her dream is to become a naturalized citizen. Would we welcome someone like Liza into our home again? Absolutely, but we couldn’t do it if the Biden administration finalizes a regulation it proposed on Oct. 30.

The State Department essentially wants to end the au pair program, which connects more than 21,000 foreigners with American families a year. The forthcoming mandate would require employers to treat au pairs more like traditional employees, though the program was designed to combine cultural exchange and child care. Families currently can pay an au pair a weekly stipend of about $200 and pitch in for things like college tuition. They also provide food, housing and transportation, as well as money to cover things like health insurance. An au pair can cost as little as $20,000, a bargain compared with other child-care options for families with several kids.

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