Trump Administration to H-1B Employers: There’s a New Sheriff in Town

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The United States Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced plans to “protect U.S. workers from H-1B program discrimination by providing greater transparency and oversight.” DOL says it will take the following actions in defense of our domestic labor market:

  • Rigorously use all of its existing authority to initiate investigations of H-1B program violators.
  • Consider changes to the Labor Condition Application – used to determine the wage paid to H-1B employees – for future application cycles.
  • Continue to engage stakeholders on how the program might be improved to provide greater protections for U.S. workers, under existing authorities or through legislative changes.

The DOL statement came on the heels of a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announcement that the Civil Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) will begin enforcing the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that prohibit employers from discriminating against U.S. citizens when hiring employees. IER’s precursor, the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices often prioritized employment discrimination complaints filed by foreigners – even illegal aliens – over those submitted by U.S. citizens.

Agency statements are a dime a dozen in Washington, D.C., and the H-1B program could still use a stem to stern overhaul. Its loose structure and inconsistent vetting procedures makes it attractive to fraudsters. It’s also a magnet for educated foreign intelligence operatives and degreed terrorists seeking a relatively easy method of entry into the United States – a particular concern in the age of cyber-crime, given the program’s high-tech bent. However, after years of the DOL blatantly refusing to engage in meaningful immigration enforcement activities, and decades of the DOJ defending the rights of alien workers, to the detriment of U.S. employees, these are definite moves in the right direction.

President Trump has consistently said that he came to D.C. to “drain the swamp.” It looks like there’s a new sheriff in town and he’s just told his deputies, “Hit the streets and protect the American worker!”

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About Author

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Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats.He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.

14 Comments

  1. avatar

    The Trump Administration has twice recently said that H-1B visas are not a high priority, so I will take this announcement with a grain of salt.

  2. avatar

    I’ve had conversations with Hillary supporters and most all have absolutely no idea of issues like this. They voted simply on emotion. She is now saying that she lost because of sexism. Just another excuse for an appallingly bad campaign. She had over a billion dollars to spend, far above Trump, and after awhile her never ending negative tv ads had people just tuning them out. She also had the advantage of the media, including CNN slipping debate questions to her twice.

    Trump said I will put Americans first in line for jobs and I will protect the border. She committed one of the all time biggest gaffes in American political history with her “deplorables” statement. You have to question the basic common sense of someone who would stand in front of a microphone and say that, when she gained absolutely nothing by it because her supporters already agreed, and she turned a huge swath of the electorate against her. Talk about being divisive. Her own stupidity and arrogance was her problem.

  3. avatar

    The Last 15 Years We’ve Seen the Horrifying Effect H-1Bs have had on MSFT

    Weekly patches
    Virus S/W that doesn’t work [I just had to have spyware removed from 4 American Hackers into My Computer and I have McAfee installed]
    etc…
    etc…

    Can H-1Bs do anything right? Give me back the good ole days when NW high school graduates designed Windows 95 and 98….real Americans IOWs.

    • avatar

      U have to differentiate H1Bs of your time n nowadays ….the ones from your time oaud their dues, built the Engineering American industry n have so.e if the highest technical n CEOs position….Just if them studied here…..

      Most nowadays take the jobs from us… Seeing us believing for Trump…..

      • avatar

        oaud their dues = paid their dues and were smartest in the lot amongst us and even smarter

      • avatar

        Liberal Communication

        Rarely answers a question clearly….it changes the subject to real engineering has changed???

        Peter, get an engineering degree and speak clearly on the subject, no one can understand your comparison of engineers doing high school level computer work.

        • avatar

          SWE there it goes again:

          U have to differentiate H1Bs of your time n nowadays ….the ones from your time paid their dues, built the Engineering American industry n have so far the highest technical n CEOs positions….they studied here…..and earned to stay here ….

          Most H1B visas nowadays take the jobs from us… Seeing us believing for Trump….

          AS an engineer you lack the self-motivation and the ability to figure things out … an engineering trait you appear to lack of ….

          • avatar

            What exactly is your purpose of all these posts other than your usual trolling. You say “Most H1B visas nowadays take the jobs from us…” Yeah, so who is disagreeing with that? That’s the entire point of this article and the posts concerning it. Since you agree, all your posts on this are just distracting babble and personal attacks.