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H1-B Visa Fraud

Guest Worker Fraud

Last week’s post on why Guest Worker IT Firms Crash Then Burn When Investigating Visa Fraud provided a little background on guest worker fraud being investigated now. Much of the spark to light this match was the whistle-blowing activity of a Jack Palmer about Infosys. However Infosys should NOT be considered an isolated incident.

As Jack Palmer’s case demonstrates there are options for consultants who are tired of the fraud. What Mr. Palmer’s conviction and dedication indicates is that you must be willing to stand up and be counted. No one said being a whistle-blower would be easy, but there are protections. Another interesting feature of Mr. Palmer’s case involves the various government agencies and channels conducting several of the ongoing investigations.

United States Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa has taken a strong interest in meaningful visa reform and ending the fraud for some time. As a regular crusader against H1-B visa fraud he has often introduced legislation and taken a stand against fraudulent practices. As one example in a February 10, 2012 Grassley Weekly Video Address: H-1B Reform was the topic.

While some Guest Worker IT Firms Crash Then Burn When Investigating Visa Fraud there are still too many customers who are ripped off while their SAP or other enterprise projects crash and burn. Even though there are Hidden SAP Offshore Development Costs, those costs and the negative consequences go much higher when dealing with fake experience from onshore resources. There is a measure of customer trust that workers who are on site, employed by system integrators, had to go through some type of screening and background verifications for experience. Enterprise application customers almost expect that the hiring practices at some of these IT firms mirror their own internal processes. NOTHING could be further from the truth. See this excerpt from Mr. Palmer’s insight (noted last week in Guest Worker IT Firms Crash Then Burn When Investigating Visa Fraud):

When asked if all the people had some special expertise that couldn’t be found in the U.S., Palmer said, “Absolutely not. Not even close. Many of them [are] what we call freshers. People that would just come over, whoever they could get to come over. Whoever got accepted for a visa.”

Many of the people brought in, in fact, didn’t know what they were doing at all, Palmer said. “There was not a project or program that I was involved in that we did not remove somebody because they had no knowledge of what they were doing,” he said.

As noted by Mr. Palmer’s attorney Ken Mendelsohn, “Senator Grassley has taken an interest in this situation and actually wrote Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napoliatano.” The letter and responses are attached here and are interesting from the perspective that there are still MASSIVE numbers of B-1 and other visas being issued (primarily to Indian IT firms).

Letter from Grassley

Response from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Conclusion on Helping to Clean Up VISA FRAUD in the Enterprise Application Space

Sadly for those with real experience, whether foreign born or citizen, it is not just the system integrators who are the problem–, often some of the recruiting firms help to continue perpetuating the visa fraud. I’ve heard of many cases where unscrupulous recruiters will provide candidates with resumes the recruiters rewrote to add “experience” and background “employment” that the individual does not have.

Mr. Palmer’s case together with several criminal investigations are underway (with still more to come) but you can do your part to stop the fraud in the visa program by reporting any incidents you encounter.

If the fraud were stopped I personally wouldn’t care if the caps on visas related to high tech were significantly increased or eliminated. Unfortunately I don’t think a real cleanup will happen until some people end up in jail.

As I have long said, I personally have no issue competing with the very best there is anywhere in the world but it gets old cleaning up and working around so many messes left behind in the SAP world. I’m not interested in that kind of “job security.” I want to make the highest and best use of my skills by helping businesses gain real benefit from their SAP projects.

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References and Additional Information on Reporting Suspected Visa Fraud and Abuse

United States Code (USC): 18 USC § 1546 (a) “[Any visa, permit, or other document] procured by means of any false claim or statement, or to have been otherwise procured by fraud or unlawfully obtained…” provides for criminal penalties and fines.

Contact U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley to tell your story or to encourage further investigations or prosecutions: http://www.grassley.senate.gov/contact.cfm

The Criminal investigations into Infosys and other high tech worker visa fraud issues is being partially handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Texas. If you have information about Infosys or other system integrators committing visa fraud reach out to them. You can contact them here: http://www.justice.gov/usao/txe/contact.html

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement accepts tips and information related to visa fraud, feel free to report any suspected incidents here: http://www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp

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Bill Wood
+1 (704) 905 – 5175
Bill Wood contact

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3 Responses to “Investigative Report: Enterprise Application Guest Worker Fraud in America”

  1. Bill Wood says:

    My Message to Senator Grassley this morning:

    Message: In Re: May 13, 2011 response from Secretary Clinton ( http://www.r3now.com/1/Clinton_Response_to_Grassley.pdf ) regarding your April 14, 2011 request for information about Visa Fraud and misuse ( http://www.r3now.com/1/Clinton_and_Napolitano_B-1_visa_issues.pdf ).

    ———————

    Senator Grassley, thank you for your continued diligence and persistence in fighting visa abuse and misuse which is often used to displace American workers. In the process of doing research for articles on this subject I found the two pieces of correspondance listed above and something from Secretary Clinton’s response struck me as highly unusual–, the sheer number of B-1/B-2 combination visas. While individually the B-1 and B-2 visa numbers are relatively small, some might even argue negligable, the gigantic number of combination visas (294,120 B-1/B-2 combination visas), which would allow extended periods in the U.S. is troubling.

    Are we suddenly to believe that many B-2 “training or meeting” visitors are suddenly also going to take extended vacations in the U.S. under a B-1? Certainly some of this is legitimate but the sheer numbers in comparison to the individual visas is striking. Are we to believe that the ratio of the combination visas are more than ONE HUNDRED times greater than the individual applications? They are also over FOUR TIMES greater than the current allotted H1-Bs.

    Considering the rampant abuses by companies like Infosys it is long past time to look into this and make serious reforms to the program. Serious reforms might include civil and criminal sanctions not JUST for the companies who commit this fraud but also for the individuals. Provide some protection and even permanance for INDIVIDUAL whistle-blower visa guest workers as an incentive to put an end to this huge problem.

  2. income tax fraud reporting says:

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation butt I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

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