Senators Demand Investigation of Layoffs Tied to H-1B Jobs Given to Foreigners

If you visit the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website for information on the H-1B visa, you will find the following criteria listed:

“Requirement 1 – You must have an employer-employee relationship with the petitioning U.S. employer.

In general, a valid employer-employee relationship is determined by whether the U.S. employer may hire, pay, fire, supervise or otherwise control the work of the H-1B worker. In some cases, the sole or majority owner of the petitioning company or organization may be able to establish a valid employer-employee relationship, if the facts show that the petitioning entity has the right to control the beneficiary’s employment.

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Requirement 2 – Your job must qualify as a specialty occupation by meeting one of the following criteria:

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum requirement for the particular position;
  • The degree requirement is common for this position in the industry, or the job is so complex or unique that it can only be performed by someone with at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the position;
  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position; or
  • The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.

Requirement 3 – Your job must be in a specialty occupation related to your field of study.

Some of the evidence you may submit to demonstrate that your degree is related to your position includes:

  • A detailed explanation of the specific duties of the position, the product or service your company provides, or the complex nature of the role you will perform, and how your degree relates to the role.
  • Written opinions from experts in the field explaining how the degree is related to the role you will perform.
  • Printouts from online resources describing the degree fields normally associated with the occupation.
  • Evidence that similar companies in your industry require similar degrees for similar positions.

Requirement 4 – You must be paid at least the actual or prevailing wage for your occupation, whichever is higher.

The prevailing wage is determined based on the position in which you will be employed and the geographic location where you will be working (among other factors). The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) maintains a database with applicable current prevailing wage levels based on occupation and work location. To view the wage database and estimate the prevailing wage that may be required for your position, click here.

Requirement 5 – An H-1B visa number must be available at the time of filing the petition, unless the petition is exempt from numerical limits.

The H-1B visa has an annual numerical limit, or cap, of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. The first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the cap. Additionally, H-1B workers who are petitioned for or employed at an institution of higher education (or its affiliated or related nonprofit entities), a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization are not subject to this numerical cap.  Cap numbers are often used up very quickly, so it is important to plan in advance if you will be filing for an H-1B visa that is subject to the annual H-1B numerical cap. The U.S. government’s fiscal year starts on Oct. 1. H-1B petitions can be filed up to 6 months before the start date, which is generally April 1 for an October 1 start date.”

After reading the requirements stated on the USCIS website, you have to wonder why so many employers are laying off American workers and replacing them with foreigners with H-1B visas? Requirement 4 states that they must be paid the actual or prevailing wage, whichever is higher. Yet numerous employers, especially in the high tech industry seem to be bypassing Requirement 4 and paying H-1B workers lower wages than the American workers they replaced.

The number of H-1B visas issued annually has been 65,000, but Obama wants to increase that number to 195,000. In his typical unabashed way, Obama brazenly announced that he has established TechHire, a program to use $100 million to train H-1B visa holders to take even more jobs away from Americans. Supposedly, the $100 million will come from fees paid for H-1B visas, which means that not only has Obama been giving American jobs away to illegals, but now he’s actively selling them to foreigners.

According to Obama, there is a huge need for more technology related workers so he is turning to recruiting and training people from other countries to fill the need. He never mentioned that thousands of tech workers in Silicon Valley have been and are being laid off and are more than available to fill the jobs Obama is talking about.

Finally, ten US Senators are asking for a federal investigation into the reports of American workers being replaced by H-1B foreign workers. A letter was sent to Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez signed by the following tri-partisan group of senators:

Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), David Vitter (R-LA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), James Inhofe (R-OK) and Bernard Sanders (I-VT).

Ironically, Senators Blumenthal and McCaskill are the co-sponsors of the bill that would increase the number of H-1B visas from 65,000 to 195,000.

The letter read in part:

“We respectfully request that you investigate the unacceptable replacement of American workers by H-1B workers to ascertain whether SCE or any other U.S. companies that have engaged in this practice, or the IT consulting companies supplying those companies with H-1B workers, have violated the law.”

Ron Hira, Associate Professor of Public Policy at Howard University recently testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the abuse of the H-1B visa program by employers. Commenting about the senators’ letter, Hira stated:

“Hopefully, this letter will spur the long overdue process of a thorough examination of the H-1B and L-1 guestworker programs.”

“These programs have been widely abused to harm American workers. The Obama administration and prior administrations have made no effort to correct the injustices that the programs have inflicted on hundreds of thousands of American workers.”

Had the letter only been signed by Republicans, I would say it would have been ignored, but since it was signed by Democrats and an Independent as well, hopefully it will spur a proper investigation. If the reports are true, then the employers involved should be heavily fined and forced to rehire the American workers that they laid off.

In lieu of Obama’s liberal immigration policies and efforts to turn millions of jobs over to illegals, someone has to start standing up for the rights of American workers. We shouldn’t have to worry about losing our jobs to foreigners, legal or illegal.

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