Grassley Concerned that Fraudulent Practices May be Used to Circumvent Protections of H-1B Visa Senator Chuck Grassley is pressing the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security to look into possible improper use of B-1 visas by certain companies looking to import cheaper foreign labor.
BigNews.Biz - May 04,2012 - Grassley Concerned that Fraudulent Practices May be Used to Circumvent Protections of H-1B Visa
WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley is pressing the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security to look into possible improper use of B-1 visas by certain companies looking to import cheaper foreign labor.
In a letter to Department of State Secretary Hillary Clinton and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Grassley cited a Seattle Times story that outlined questionable practices by The Boeing Company in using the B-1 visa instead of the H-1B visa to bring in workers from Moscow. The story said that officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection interviewed several arriving individuals and found that their stories about what they would do in the country did not correspond with the terms of their visas. The Customs and Border Protection agents turned away these workers, but it has been reported that despite Boeing not changing its practices an additional 250 Russian contract engineers have entered the United States to work with the company.
In his letter, Grassley reiterated his concern that the “B-1 in Lieu of H-1B” program was being abused to bring in foreign workers without the protections of the H-1B visa program. Grassley first raised questions about the program to Clinton and Napolitano on April 14, 2011. The State Department indicated it was working with Homeland Security to “consider removing or substantially amending” the Foreign Affairs Manual. The Department of Homeland Security suggested it would work to “develop guidance clarifying the scope of activities permissible in the B-1 business visitor classification.” At this time, nothing official has been done to remedy the situation.
Here’s a copy of the text of Grassley’s letter. A signed copy can be found here.
April 30, 2012
The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520
The Honorable Janet Napolitano
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
245 Murray Lane, Mailstop 0150
Washington, D.C. 20528-0150
Dear Secretary Clinton and Secretary Napolitano:
I write again to express my concerns about the B-1 visa program, particularly the so-called “B-1 in lieu of H-1B” policy, and seek your cooperation to determine if some companies are abusing this avenue to bring in cheaper foreign labor.
Last April, I wrote to both of you about the “B-1 in lieu of H-1B” policy, and asked that the policy, which is included in the State Department Foreign Affairs Manual but omitted in Homeland Security guidance, be reconsidered. To date, nothing on this issue has been done, despite a fairly positive response from the State Department that they were working on “removing or substantially amending the FAM.”
I remain concerned about fraudulent actions that some companies may be taking in order to get around the requirements and U.S. worker protections of the H-1B visa program. While my previous letter on this issue focused on a lawsuit pending against Infosys, it has come to my attention that The Boeing Company (“Boeing”) may have employed similar tactics to bring