Department of Labor to Increase Efforts to Combat Visa Fraud

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Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced plans on Tuesday, June 6, to increase protections of American workers by more aggressively combatting visa fraud and abuse. Non-immigrant visas that increase competition for American workers will be put under closer scrutiny in conformity with President Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” executive order.

“Entities who engage in visa program fraud and abuse are breaking our laws and are harming American workers, negatively affecting Americans’ ability to provide for themselves and their families. We will enforce vigorously those laws, including heightened use of criminal referrals,” said Secretary Acosta in his announcement. “The U.S. Department of Labor will focus on preventing visa program abuse and take every available legal action against those who abuse these programs.”

Indeed, employers around the country rely on loopholes and oversights in temporary (nonimmigrant) employment visa programs hire foreign workers in place of native workers. Foreign labor is more attractive to companies because these workers are generally more willing to accept lower pay and benefits than their American counterparts, saving companies tens of thousands of dollars per year per employee hired.

Additionally, workers that are in the United States on an employment visa are significantly less likely to take advantage of legal labor protections or file complaints against employers that do not deliver the fullest extent of their obligations under law. Despite Congress’s intention to only make these visas available on a need basis and for market wages, employers frequently take advantage of loopholes to avoid hiring Americans and pay foreign workers less.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) praised the Department of Labor’s efforts to increase protections to American workers by addressing visa fraud. “Secretary Acosta is taking a serious first step to address the rampant problem of visa fraud and its harmful effects on American workers.  I am glad the Secretary has taken some of my suggestions to heart, and is taking steps to root out criminal fraud. The wellbeing of hard-working Americans is at stake, and the Secretary’s continued work in this area with the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security is absolutely critical.”

The Department of Labor also communicated that it will continue to work with the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to enforce immigration law and confront abuse of various visa programs.

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Dan is the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s President after joining the organization in 1982. He has testified more than 50 times before Congress, and been cited in the media as "America's best-known immigration reformer." Dan has appeared on virtually every significant TV and radio news/talk program in America and, in addition to being a contributing editor to ImmigrationReform.com, has contributed commentaries to a vast number of print media outlets.

20 Comments

  1. avatar

    The Government Accountability Office put out a report on the H-1B visa that discusses at some length the fact that the vast majority of H-1B workers are hired into entry-level positions. In fact, most are at “Level I”, which is officially defined by the Dept. of Labor as those who have a “basic understanding of duties and perform routine tasks requiring limited judgment”. Moreover, the GAO found that a mere 6% of H-1B workers are at “Level IV”, which is officially defined by the US Dept. of Labor as those who are “fully competent” [1]. This belies the industry lobbyists’ claims that H-1B workers are hired because they’re experts that can’t be found among the U.S. workforce.

    So this means one of two things: either companies are looking for entry-level workers (in which case, their rhetoric about needing “the best and brightest” is meaningless), or they’re looking for more experienced workers but only paying them at the Level I, entry-level pay scale. In my opinion, companies are using the H-1B visa to engage in legalized age discrimination, as the vast majority of H-1B workers are under the age of 35 [2], especially those at the Level I and Level II
    categories.

    Any way you slice it, it amounts to H-1B visa abuse, all facilitated and with the blessings of the US government.

    The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has never shown a sharp upward trend of Computer Science graduate starting salaries, which would indicate a labor shortage (remember – the vast majority of H-1B visas are granted for computer-related positions). In fact, according to their survey for Fall 2015, starting salaries for CS grads went down by 4% from the prior year. This is particularly interesting in that salaries overall rose 5.2% [3][4].

    References:
    [1] http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d1126.pdf
    GAO-11-26: H-1B VISA PROGRAM – Reforms Are Needed to Minimize the Risks and Costs of Current Program
    [2] https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Reports%20and%20Studies/H-1B/h-1B-characteristics-report-14.pdf
    Characteristics of H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Report to Congress October 1, 2013 – September 30, 2014
    [3] https://web.wpi.edu/Images/CMS/CDC/2015-fall-salary-survey_(1).pdf
    NACE Fall 2015 Salary Survey
    [4] http://career.sa.ucsb.edu/files/docs/handouts/2014-september-salary-survey-executive-summary.pdf
    NACE Salary Survey – September 2014 Executive Summary

  2. avatar

    There is no STEM crisis. There is in fact a surplus of US workers for STEM:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2014/06/06/true-or-false-america-desperately-needs-more-stem-workers/

    http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/the-administration/257041-obamas-latest-plan-to-rewrite-immigration-law

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/immigration/item/21801-sen-sessions-rep-brat-warn-colleagues-to-curb-immigration

    Watch Dan Rather’s Doc: No Thanks For Everything
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeoBWzIRuic

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/static/the-stem-crisis-is-a-myth-an-ongoing-discussion
    The STEM Crisis is a Myth: An Ongoing Discussion
    Throughout the month of September, we’ll provide continuing coverage and debate

    https://gspp.berkeley.edu/assets/uploads/research/pdf/h1b.pdf
    The Effects of High-Skilled Immigration Policy on Firms: Evidence from H-1B Visa Lotteries

    http://www.epi.org/blog/h-1b-visas-do-not-create-jobs-or-improve-conditions-for-u-s-workers/
    H-1B Visas Do Not Create Jobs or Improve Conditions for U.S. Workers

    The immigration attorneys from Cohen & Grigsby explain how they assist employers in running classified ads with the goal of NOT finding any qualified applicants, and the steps they go through to disqualify even the most qualified Americans in order to secure green cards for H-1b workers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCbFEgFajGU

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programmers_Guild

    On May 2, 2008 a civil court judge sided with the Programmers Guild in their complaint against a Pittsburgh computer consulting company and ordered it to pay $45,000 in penalties for discriminating against legal US residents by advertising only for developers on H-1B visas. The case was brought against iGate Mastech for placing an advertisement for thirty computer programmers in 2006 “that expressly favored H-1B visa holders to the exclusion of US citizens, lawful permanent citizens and other legal US workers” according to the US Department of Justice.[8]

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/did-you-know-obama-just-took-new-executive-action-on-immigration/article/2562053

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/28/obama-prepares-give-away-white-collar-jobs-citizenship-foreign-graduates/
    Obama Prepares Give-Away of White-Collar Jobs And Citizenship To Foreign Graduates

    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/international/238574-trade-agreement-is-a-trojan-horse-for-obamas-immigration

    Obama just expanded definitions of “specialized knowledge” and no rule to hire US workers first leads to even more abuse of the L1-B Visas

    Here’s where Job Brokers abuse the H1B Visas, provide fake job histories and resumes, provide bogus training:

    http://www.revealnews.org/article/job-brokers-steal-wages-entrap-indian-tech-workers-in-us/

    http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/Grassley-Statement-Concerning-Immigration-Reforms-296630751.html

  3. avatar

    Its Not Just H-1B and H-2B Visas

    Destroying American tax base and livable/legal wages….its outsourcing of Manufacturing/Design Engineering [mostly white males BTW]. Foreigners hate American engineers, we out innovate ’em and create most of the new inventions.

    This COMPLETELY destroys our manufacturing jobs while INCREASING engineering costs with high wage engineer NWO foreigners. This saves consumers money? LOL

    • avatar

      SWE I keep on scratching my head when you equate white = design engineers….let me see ….the rzr phone antenna done by a Russian,…..fiets phone n antenna by a Korean, get got to the moon by Germans n immigrants…..all colors……

      Regardless of color our Universities r full of PhD immigrants w the best that come here n of course no differently amazing Professors from here too….

      Nobel prices mostly immigrants……Apple CEO half American n the other Arab…. U have all types. …

      Manufacturing has been gone for a while….IT work like your work all Indians w H1B…..anyway……

      When did u retired 20 years ago?….man!!!

      • avatar

        LOL Peter

        I’m an engineer for 35+ Years and don’t know were almost all white males….lets see, you are perhaps a high school graduate stealing my daughter’s job or lowering her wage or an open border progressive type who believes in destroying American manufacturing?

        You live in a make believe fantasy land…

        • avatar

          Not actually your daughter is not a good student n the reason she is not getting the job……which if I too your daughter s job is because I’m a better engineer as I got scholarships by my University n company…..you should have made sure to raise your daughter better….

          You must be a technician sine u keep on bringing manufacters n white people …. Indeed your manufacturing bosses we’re indeed most ly. Whites n the best….

        • avatar

          Hahahahaha!!!! Foreigners hate American Engineers. …. hahaha!!!! Even if there were no foreign engineers who probably are better than you,. We would still be fighting n hating each other……hahahahaha!!! What a close minded n ignorant comment in the Engineering World…u r too old…..

        • avatar

          Last SWE so that we talk apples to apples I an in the Telecommunications sector where we American Engineers work as a team n everybody has a shot n value n appreciate n have taken from all over……..in your case cars…..

          I don’t see how good if a designer we had since the 60s since we really screwed up on car designs n Europe, Japan had better cars n not until now we have been able to catch up…
          After your 35+years I understand;……
          They liked you, they just did not like your designs….

        • avatar

          Manufacturing is gone, you are no longer working= fantasy land….you stopped learning.. .
          Your car business….80-90s the worst designers in American car history….not gas efficient etc etc…you don’t count…. really…n u haven’t learnt you lesson….
          U has your head buried in the sand in Engineering n politics….

        • avatar

          Well, to make real now softwarengineer that we know your experience and background:

          It is your generation that screwed up the way to your daughter and mine for being complacent n not accepting the competition was real and thinking about OIL only. It is you fault manufacturing went overseas it was under your clock. Engineers, and technicians the like could have formed a Union or get together to stop this and be better professionals.

          SOOO, now it is you WHO lives in La land and ruined your own daughter’s future. You car designs worst in World class…….well you never designed a car yourself as we know one engineer cannot do that along……and you must have been and still is that closed minded technician…perhaps engineer but you do not strike me as one….that thought of knowing it all that is what killed your job…

          OK now for the first time in your life, you are confronted to the reality the fantasy you live in you were part of you deny so much……be responsible and accountable.

          I was lucky, I had the motivation, the grades and the opportunity and obviously the company saw the talent…..where only the best were hire just before the lay offs started…..

          Your daughter has a chance, she just have go back to school….so unmake your fantasy land and undo your wrong doings to our country that you screwed up and the situation we are in……..NOW that is the reality,

  4. avatar
    Not Politically Correct on

    I realize this would be a long process but I think they need to stop ALL HB-1 and HB-2 visas until all the over-stayers have been tracked down and determine who is still here and who has left etc. We really need that biometric entry and exit system that has long been approved. When we have the names of those who are still here and have over-stayed their names; ICE is summoned to apprehend and deport them immediately with no grace period. If they cannot be located and deported then their names/information are published here and in their home countries. When someone else wants to come over here on one of those VISA types they are told that they may come over when “John Smith” goes home. As the information is published in a public venue then applicant can contact “John Smith” or his family and put the pressure on them.

  5. avatar

    Let’s hope that is true but so far it indicates the opposite. I read the executive order as well as the H1B visa and I was excited at first until I read them. Nothing new……..what is written is the same laws already int he books with the phrase Hire and buy American without any new law to enforce it….so hopefully follow ups to make them so otherwise…..the magic ball says…..no will not happen…Very strange tons of tweets and animosity unrelated to the country’s business….something is happening behind the curtains,,,all this is to divert and get us out of focus on the real matters……..

  6. avatar

    It will continue as long as companies can get away with it. Perhaps this time we will get serious.

  7. avatar

    I remember a story from a few years ago that Hershey’s was using “educational” visas for foreigners who were doing nothing more than working the production lines. Apparently factory work is unique to this country and others need to come here to learn it. There was a letter in the paper recently from a 70 year old woman who said she had put in dozens of applications for part time jobs of all types and never got a reply. Such a person would likely be an asset, considering older people tend to show up for work, have their own health insurance through Medicare, and don’t have an entitlement attitude. A lot of teenagers say they cannot get summer jobs, something that most of us took for granted. Hardly the “shortage of workers” big business is always bleating about.

    Looks like the “bombshell” Comey testimony kind of backfired. He admitted that he had leaked information to the media and said that Loretta *****, who met in private with Bill Clinton, tried to get Comey to downplay Hillary’s e-mail investigations.

    • avatar

      You crack me up Leland…..IT is called franchising …and there you go again..the thinking we are the only ones with manufacturing….wake up…and smell more than just coffee….if you did not know once you get to certain age….they do not hire you WHICH IS WRONG and goes against our way of life……

    • avatar

      Leland, actually it appears the Russians are winning so far. They played Trump by giving him money since no American banks and appears no bank was willing to do this. They thought it through to have us divided and take us apart from our Allies. This way they can do whatever they want in Crimea and taking territory. At the same time coaching China to do military jointly and start putting bases in other countries…..it is written all over….and nobody sees it…….They hate us and they do not want us to succeed…..