Senators Seek Multi-Agency H-1B Program Investigation
A group of senators sent a letter on April 9, 2015, to Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez seeking an investigation of the H-1B program. The group, led by Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), expressed concerns about U.S. workers being displaced by H-1B workers following allegations that Southern California Edison replaced approximately 400 information technology workers with H-1B workers.
The letter asks:
In many cases it appears that the H-1B workers are not employees of the U.S. company laying off American workers, but instead are contractors employed by foreign-owned IT consulting companies. This increasingly popular business practice by U.S. companies and foreign-owned IT outsourcing firms raises several questions. For example, have the U.S. companies that have laid off American workers and replaced them with H-1B workers and/or the IT consulting contractors the companies retained engaged in prohibited citizenship status discrimination against U.S. citizens? Did the Labor Condition Applications certified by the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and the petitions approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for each H-1B visa holder who replaced a U.S. worker at these companies accurately reflect the scope and location of their work? Did such labor condition applications or visa petitions show any evidence of misrepresentation or fraud by the employer-petitioners? Did the employer-petitioners maintain a true employer-employee relationship with the H-1B workers after they were placed at the U.S. client company? While media reports indicate that the H-1B visa program is the principal visa program at issue in the layoffs, were other visa programs, such as the L-1B or the B-1, also used to displace American workers at U.S. companies?