The Justice and the State departments of the United States have come to an agreement to share information so that they can better probe firms that misuse work visa programs in order to recruit international workers. This is part of the latest effort by the Trump administration to regulate immigration abuses.
This agreement to share information was announced on 11 October by the Justice Department. Immigration issues have been one of the main priorities of Jeff Sessions, the US Attorney General since he took over as the head of the department.
Under the MoU (memorandum of understanding), the Civil Rights Division and State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs of Justice Department had decided to share information about companies that may have been unfair to American workers or that they were not being honest on certain work visa applications.
The types of visa, which will be examined include the H-1B, a program mostly used by outsourcing technology firms like Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and Cognizant Technology Solutions to get skilled foreign workers to the US, besides other visa programs like the H-2A and H-2B, which are used for hiring temporary/seasonal agricultural employees and temporary non-agricultural employees, respectively.
The Labor Department, which plays a vital role in scrutinising visa program applications by companies, announced earlier in 2017 that it planned to intensify efforts to weed out fraud and make more criminal recommendations.
Reuters stated that on the other hand, Sessions has been concerned for quite some time about these visa programs being possibly misused by companies.
As per law, companies should not discriminate against American workers owing to their citizenship.
Companies, which hire more than 15 percent of their staff on H-1B visas, need to show that they tried hiring US workers first before they brought in foreign workers and demonstrate that Americans are not being displaced.
Included in the H-1B visa program is also a provision that excuses companies from those requirements if their foreign workers are paid above $60,000 a year or are hiring those with at least a graduate degree.
The Justice Department had filed a lawsuit in September against a Colorado-based agricultural company for allegedly being unfair to the US seasonal technicians and favoured H-2A foreign workers instead.
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