On June 6, 2017, the Department of Labor announced actions to increase protections of American workers while more aggressively confronting entities committing visa program fraud and abuse.
It is now the policy of the Department to enforce vigorously all laws within its jurisdiction governing the administration and enforcement of non-immigrant visa programs, including:
- The Wage and Hour Division is using all its tools in conducting civil investigations to enforce labor protections provided by the visa programs.
- The Employment and Training Administration is developing proposed changes to the Labor Condition Application, and for the division to review their investigatory forms, to better identify systematic violations and potential fraud, and provide greater transparency for agency personnel, U.S. workers, and the general public.
- The Wage and Hour Division, ETA, and the Office of the Solicitor are coordinating the administration and enforcement activities of the visa programs and making referrals of criminal fraud to the Office of the Inspector General.
- The Department is establishing a working group made up of senior leadership from ETA, the Wage and Hour Division, and Solicitor’s office to supervise this effort and coordinate enforcement to avoid duplication of efforts and maximize the efficiency of the department’s activities regarding the visa programs.
The Department will also continue to work with the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to further investigate and detect visa program fraud and abuse.
In addition, the Department has begun promoting the hiring of Americans and safeguarding working conditions in the U.S. The Department has begun to prioritize and publicize the investigation and prosecution of entities in violation of visa programs.
The Department’s OIG has focused substantial investigative resources towards combating visa-related fraud schemes. Their sustained efforts have led to significant results, including convictions of attorneys, employers, recruiters, corrupt government employees, and labor brokers. Highlights of some of OIG’s recent successes combating fraud in the H-1B program, for example, are available here: https://www.oig.dol.gov/OIGBrief-H1B.pdf.
Individuals can report allegations of H-1B violations by submitting Form WH-4 to the Department’s Wage and Hour Division.
To further deter and detect abuse, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has established an email address (ReportH1BAbuse@uscis.dhs.gov), which will allow individuals (including both American workers and H-1B workers who suspect they or others may be the victim of H-1B fraud or abuse) to submit tips, alleged violations and other relevant information about potential H-1B fraud or abuse.
U.S. workers who believe that an employer discriminated against them based on their citizenship status or national origin by preferring to hire an H-1B worker can contact the Immigrant and Employee Rights (IER) Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to file a charge. More Information is available at www.justice.gov/ier.