by Michael Cutler
The little-known visa program that is sabotaging American workers.
It is important to give credit where credit is due. I have not been alone in voicing frustration over how the mainstream media rarely, if ever, provides accurate coverage about immigration-related issues. Today we will focus on an example of solid journalism.
On July 31, 2017, CBS News posted an important and hard-hitting investigative news report titled, "Made in America: How the U.S. Auto Industry Was Built with Foreign Labor." A YouTube video of the report was aired by CBS News under the title, "Foreign workers being used to build auto plants in the U.S." It is a video that I urge you to watch.
The CBS News report caught the attention of Paul Mitchell, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who, on May 16, 2018, issued a press release to announce a roundtable discussion into visa fraud that was predicated on the CBS News report.
Immigration fraud was identified, by the 9/11 Commission as the key entry and embedding tactic for terrorists who sought to carry out deadly terror attacks in the United States. This concern served as the prediction for my recently published booklet, "Immigration Fraud: Lies That Kill."
Immigration fraud not only costs lives but American livelihoods.
This is the brief press release:
“It’s important that we identify, examine, and fight the fraudulent use of visas by employers. Specific visas are designed for specific purposes, and when companies abuse or deceive the visa system, they hurt American workers and the American economy, as well as the foreign workers they hire under fraudulent pretenses. This morning’s roundtable was a good start to shining a light on visa fraud so the relevant government agencies can take effective steps to enforce our laws.”
- In July 2017, CBS News released an investigative report providing compelling evidence that certain foreign automobile manufacturers are hiring subcontractors who intentionally employ workers admitted under “B-1 in lieu of H-1B” visas to bypass foreign labor laws and increase company revenue. The report further alleges these workers were paid substantially less than American workers would have been paid performing the same jobs.
- Today, Rep. Mitchell hosted the Departments of State, Labor and Homeland Security to learn more about what options are appropriate for hiring foreign workers, as well as what efforts are underway to identify, investigate and mitigate the fraudulent use of visas by foreign employers and employees. While the issue of securing the U.S./Mexican border against illegal (un-inspected) entry into the United States figures prominently in the news, nearly half of all illegal aliens did not run our borders thereby entering the U.S. without inspection, but were admitted into the United States and then, in one way or another, went on to violate the terms of their respective admissions as stipulated by the various visas they used to enter the United States.
The State Department provides a Directory of Visa Categories.
Nonimmigrant visa holders are admitted for a limited period of time, depending on the category of visa they used to enter the United States. Many of these visas prohibit these aliens from being gainfully employed in the U.S.
Most politicians and pundits say that such illegal aliens, who violate their terms of admission, simply “overstayed” their authorized period of admission.
However, while nonimmigrant aliens who fail to depart from the United States before their temporary authorized period of admission expires are indeed illegally present and subject to removal, this violation by itself has little real-world consequence for America and Americans.
What is seldom discussed is that most such “status violators” violate other provisions of their lawful admission and this does profoundly impact our nation and our fellow Americans. In point of fact, many of these illegal aliens also work illegally. This not only displaces American and lawful immigrant workers and may result in wage suppression or even wage reduction, but also hammers the U.S. economy as these aliens wire tens of billions of dollars out of the U.S. economy to their home countries.
Often these illegal aliens sought visas and entry into the United States fully intent on violating our immigration laws from the outset, but concealed their ultimate goals from the Department of State consular officials who granted them their visas and the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) who interviewed them when they applied for admission. False statements and the concealment of material facts, and/or the creation of false and misleading evidence in support of their lies to obtain visas and gain entry into the United States constitutes fraud, a serious crime.
Such was the case where these hundreds of European construction workers are concerned.
A partnership exists between the Department of State and the elements of the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) that enforce and administer the immigration laws. The State Department is responsible for issuing visas to aliens and CBP inspectors have the authority to admit aliens into the United States and are guided by the provisions of Title 8, United States Code, Section 1182 which enumerates the categories of aliens who are to be excluded.
The CBS News report focused on the B-1/B-2 visa and a supposed hybrid visa known as the B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa. I have come to refer to this hybrid visa as a Franken-visa because it is a monstrosity that has no legal underpinning and in my judgment, undermines the integrity of the visa process and suborns fraud and malfeasance, hurting American workers.
A B-2 visa generally permits the bearer to remain in the U.S. for up to six months. The B-1 visa is a business visa that permits the alien to conduct business in the United States and attend training sessions and conferences, review corporate procedures in the United States and carry out other such functions. However, they are not authorized to be gainfully employed in the United States. Typically an alien entering the U.S. for business purposes is issued a B-1/B-2 visas so that after they complete the business that brought them to the U.S. they may spend some time as tourists.
The USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) website provides an explanation of the B-1 Visa.
The State Department’s consular officers who issue visas, are supposed to be a part of the process to keep aliens, who are likely to violate the terms of their visas, from receiving those visas in the first place. These consular officers are supposed to be on the “same page” as the CBP inspectors who make the decision at America’s ports of entry as to whether or not to admit those aliens.
Now it would appear that not only are consular officials not on the same page as CBP inspectors, but are apparently not even reading from the same play book. And once again, America and Americans are paying the price.
The number of controversial H-1B visas that are issued each year are limited by a CAP. The B-1 in lieu of H-1B visas are not capped and these visas, unlike virtually all other visas are not based on an underlying law. Visas categories are established by law, not a hunch or a desire to play favorites for those with political clout.
Representative Mitchell’s press release noted that the predication for that Congressional roundtable discussion was a CBS News investigative report that had been broadcast in July 2017 that disclosed how European automakers got huge tax breaks to build brand new factories to manufacture their cars in the U.S., but used European labor to construct those factories.
The European automakers hired agencies such as the German contractor Eisenmann which then outsourced the hiring process to other subcontractors who then gamed the visa process, thereby committing apparent visa fraud that brought thousands of Eastern European construction workers to the United States with B-1/B-2 visas.
These workers were paid approximately ten dollars per hour while it was estimated that American tradesman would command wages of between $45 and $50 per hour.
CBS News explained how these workers were hired:
When a carmaker like Mercedes wants to expand its plant, they hire a contractor, like the German corporation, Eisenmann, to build parts of it. Eisenmann then subcontracts smaller companies to build parts of the plant and some of those companies hire labor from Eastern Europe.
It is a common practice for a company to hire contractors and subcontractors to hire workers.
Here, however, it was shown how many of these foreign workers were coached by those contractors to lie to the consular officers who interviewed them when they applied for their visas and how to lie to the CBP inspectors at ports of entry.
At least one of the companies justified its hiring practices by noting how the B-1 in lieu of H-1B visas made what they did legal. Of course this is not true, but nevertheless an in-depth investigation must be conducted to determine how and why this visa category was created in the first place.
Clearly ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) needs many more agents to ramp up investigations of worksite immigration violations. This would be consistent with President Trump’s plan to put Americans first.
Immigration law violations are not “victimless crimes.”
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