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Federal Reserve Wants Criminal Charges For Fraud On Silicon Valley Favorite Visa

Federal officials say they plan to seek criminal prosecution of H-1B visa fraud schemes that Silicon Valley tech companies frequently use to recruit foreign workers.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service said last week that evidence collected while processing a surge in H-1B applications this year and last year led to a “massive fraud investigation.” The agency said it has begun referring cases to law enforcement to prosecute companies that falsely claimed to have jobs for proposed visa holders.

Not only has the number of applications soared, from about 301,000 in 2022 to 474,000 this year and 759,000 next year, but there are even more cases of multiple companies submitting the same initial worker registrations. said the agency. Online update Friday.

“Some (companies) may have sought to obtain an unfair advantage by working together to submit multiple registrations on behalf of the same beneficiary,” the agency said. may have unduly increased the likelihood of selection for

It’s unclear which companies were allegedly involved, or if they’re in the Bay Area.

The lottery-based H-1B program issues 85,000 new visas annually. H-1B targets workers with specialized skills and is commonly used to attract qualified foreign engineers, but data show is also widely used. In his 2020 report by the Leftist Economic Policy Institute, his 60% of her H-1B jobs certified by the U.S. Department of Labor are allocated at wage levels well below the regional average wages for the occupation. It concludes that

“Hiring H-1B workers instead of Americans is very profitable because they are cheap. Institute report.

Citizenship and Immigration is seeking criminal prosecution if companies applying for H-1B visas do not have actual jobs for proposed recipients, as required by the H-1B program. but gave false testimony that they had.

Under changes made in 2020 by the administration of former President Donald Trump, the original H-1B application was replaced with a “registration” system, making it much cheaper. registration procedure, We will generate 759,000 first applications next year and require a payment of just $10. Entrants will pay the full entry fee only if they are selected to register in the lottery.

Using H-1B to cut wages and attract cheaper foreign workers, Hilla said the lottery system itself underlies the problems of US companies, including Silicon Valley tech giants. thinking about. The Citizenship and Immigration Service’s action against companies allegedly making false certifications was planned under President Trump, Shelved by President Joe Biden’s Administration, was introduced to replace the lottery with a system that prioritizes the highest salaries, Taira said. “It will also wipe out the rest of the abuse. Our government is a disaster when it comes to these programs. They have the ability to fix things. Businesses don’t want change.”

Citizenship and Immigration called the H-1B program “an integral part of our nation’s immigration system and economy,” and said it was working on new rules that would enhance the application process. -1B registration system.

The Bay Area Council, which represents Silicon Valley’s major companies, opposes the wage first rule. but said Lottery-based H-1B allocations can be combined with minimum wage requirements.

On Monday, John Vaserich, vice president for immigration policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the group opposes wage-based H-1B allocations. We are ready to work with management and members on how to improve our processes,” says Baselici.

https://www.siliconvalley.com/2023/05/01/h-1b-feds-want-criminal-charges-over-application-fraud-for-silicon-valleys-favorite-visa/ Federal Reserve Wants Criminal Charges For Fraud On Silicon Valley Favorite Visa

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