H-1B Visa Abuse: So Bad That Even Biden’s Crew Can’t Ignore It



A California company was charged last month in a multimillion-dollar visa fraud and money-laundering scheme that filled U.S. tech jobs with foreign workers. The case was the latest in an ongoing string of immigration scams involving H-1B “skilled” visas. To cite just a few:

  • An Indian company, with offices in Houston, admitted to running a major H-1B fraud operation from 2013-2020, using forged contracts and absconding with funds.
  • In Texas, the U.S. Department of Labor determined that a tech company withheld payments from an H-1B visa worker in an illegal workplace practice called “benching.”
  • Back in California, a Chinese national ran an immigration fraud scheme that raked off millions of dollars while helping thousands of foreign workers to remain in the U.S. illegally.

“Fraud in the H-1B visa program is nothing new. If the feds did a thorough investigation of all employers that utilize the program, they would find a large number abusing it,” U.S. Techworkers executive director Kevin Lynn stated in an email to FAIR this month.

Increasingly prevalent workplace scams involving foreign nationals prompted bipartisan legislation to scrap the dubious H-1B visa lottery and tighten rules to protect Americans.

“Congress created the H-1B and L-1 visa programs to complement America’s high-skilled workforce, not replace it. Unfortunately, some companies are trying to exploit the programs by cutting American workers for cheaper labor,” said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

Grassley, along with co-sponsor Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said their S.3720 will explicitly prohibit replacement of American workers by H-1B visa holders. Allocations would, for the first time, be ranked to ensure that top science-technology-engineering-mathematics (STEM) degree holders educated in the U.S. have priority for available work visas.

Eliminating the H-1B lottery is crucial. This current randomized system, which dispenses visas irrespective of actual need or merit, has opened the door to fraudsters in America’s tech workplaces. It’s time, past time, to shut that door.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

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