May 26, 2011, - 1:58 pm
It’s official: InfoSys is violating immigration laws in order to replace Americans with aliens who work for cheaper wages. And the company, which places workers at companies throughout America, is apparently lying to do so. And the only reason the company got caught is a brave employee who risked his livelihood to blow the whistle.
InfoSys: Powered by Visa Fraud & Stealing American Jobs, Wages
There is illegal immigration and then there is illegal “legal” immigration–when companies bring aliens to America “legally” for the purpose of illegally taking domestic American jobs. Over the years, I’ve repeatedly noted how so many employers here in America scam the system, lying and cheating in order to replace hard-working Americans with aliens who do the same job for less. In fact, there are so many such companies that game the system and deliberately violate work visa conditions, that law firms exist just to hold seminars advising them how to do it. Federal government litigation against one such law firm investigated by ICE was resolved in the law firm’s favor, and the lawyers got away with openly advising Fortune 500 companies how to break the law. Unfortunately, B-1 visa fraud is rampant and hardly ever prosecuted.
Now, Infosys Technologies is committing visa fraud and improperly giving American jobs to aliens with visas meant for attending business conventions and fixing machinery. Congrats to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who are on the case. And G-d bless Jack “Jay” Palmer, Jr. the InfoSys employee who refused to go along with the fraud and is not currently working, as a result. We need more–many more!–Americans like him, who put America and Americans first. And there is an important national security element, not mentioned in the article. Applicants for B-1 visas are not vetted nearly as closely as the already lax vetting for H1-B visas. We don’t know who these people are coming into America’s top companies and stealing American jobs and wages. And the government doesn’t really know, either.
U.S. authorities are investigating whether an Indian software giant repeatedly violated American visa laws in order to place its own foreign employees in temporary jobs at some big corporate clients in the U.S.
The probe is examining whether Infosys Technologies Ltd. used inexpensive, easy-to-obtain visas meant to cover short-term business visits to the U.S.—instead of the appropriate, but harder to get, work visas—to bring in an unknown number of its employees for longer-term stays, according to people familiar with the matter.
These so-called B-1 business visas are intended for foreign nationals who come to the U.S. for purposes such as attending business conventions, consulting with business associates or installing machinery.
A State Department spokeswoman said the department is investigating Bangalore-based Infosys but declined further comment.
A spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, part of the Department of Homeland Security, said ICE agents had visited Infosys’s U.S. offices. . . .
In a statement Tuesday, Infosys said it “received a subpoena from a grand jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The subpoena requires us to provide information to the grand jury regarding our sponsorships for, and uses of, B-1 business visas.” . . .
Infosys is best known as an outsourcing company that provides India-based computing and other technology services to Western clients. But it also boasts thousands of U.S.-based employees who develop and install software for back-office accounting, logistics and supply-chain management for companies in the retail, finance and manufacturing industries. Infosys doesn’t disclose the identity of its clients.
The visa investigation comes amid a national debate in the U.S. over whether foreign workers, particularly in the software sector, are displacing qualified Americans because they are cheaper to employ.
The investigation has spurred the government to say it intends to tighten visa regulations to close loopholes that critics say enable employers to abuse the immigration system.
The probe was sparked by a lawsuit filed in Alabama state court earlier this year by an Infosys employee named Jack “Jay” Palmer Jr., alleging that Infosys misused the B-1 visa program. The lawsuit, which was recently moved to federal court, alleges that Infosys should have used a different visa program, known as H-1B, under which high-skilled professionals, such as software developers, are allowed into the U.S. for longer-term work.
The U.S. issues just 65,000 H-1B visas a year, and demand sometimes exceeds supply. H-1Bs take several months to get and can cost upward of $3,000 per individual. The is no cap on B-1 visas, which can be obtained in a matter of days for $140 each. . . .
For the fiscal year ended March 31, Infosys had revenue of $6 billion, about two-thirds of which came from North America. To service its U.S. clients, Infosys has become one of the top users of the H-1B visa program, employing about 10,000 H-1B holders in the U.S., according to its annual report. . . .
In his lawsuit, Mr. Palmer, a principal consultant at Infosys, alleges that Infosys was affected by the limited number of H-1Bs in 2009 and began using B-1s to circumvent H-1B requirements. . . .
In March 2010, Mr. Palmer attended meetings in Bangalore, where Infosys officials discussed the need to find “ways to creatively get around the H-1B limitations and process to work the system to increase profits and the value of Infosys’ stock,” according to the lawsuit. Infosys denies the allegation.
Later, according to Mr. Palmer’s complaint, he was asked to prepare letters in support of B-1 applications stating “the employee was coming to the United States for meetings, rather than to work at a job.”
After he refused to write such letters, Mr. Palmer was instructed “to keep quiet” by a manager sent from India who confirmed the violations, according to the suit—a claim Infosys denies.
Again, G-d bless, Mr. Palmer. He did the right thing by refusing to participate in this immigration scam. And he could lose everything for doing so.
Sadly, most Americans in his shoes would go along to get along.
Tags: B-1 visa, B-1 visas, Department of Homeland Security, DHS, Eastern District of Texas, Grand Jury, H1-B visa, H1-B visas, ICE, Immigration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Immigration Fraud, Infosys, InfoSys Technologies, Infosys Technologis Ltd., Jack "Jay" Palmer Jr., Jack Palmer Jr., Jay Palmer, Jay Palmer Jr., lawsuit, U.S. District Court, visa fraud, whistleblower