The Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announced today that the agency will ramp of its efforts to protect American workers and more aggressively confront employers that are committing visa fraud and abuse. This release comes after the agency has completed the review of the H-1B and other foreign worker visa programs that was required by Pres. Trump's ‘Buy American, Hire American’ executive order.
“Entities who engage in visa program fraud and abuse are breaking our laws and are harming American workers, negatively affecting Americans’ ability to provide for themselves and their families. We will enforce vigorously those laws, including heightened use of criminal referrals,” said Secretary Acosta in his announcement. “The U.S. Department of Labor will focus on preventing visa program abuse and take every available legal action against those who abuse these programs.”
The announcement laid out specific policies to accomplish these enforcement goals, including:
- Directing the department’s Wage and Hour Division to use all its tools in conducting civil investigations to enforce labor protections provided by the visa programs.
- Directing the department’s Employment and Training Administration to develop proposed changes to the Labor Condition Application, and for the division to review their investigatory forms, to better identify systematic violations and potential fraud, and provide greater transparency for agency personnel, U.S. workers and the general public.
- Directing the division, ETA and the Office of the Solicitor to coordinate the administration and enforcement activities of the visa programs and make referrals of criminal fraud to the Office of the Inspector General.
- Establishing a working group made up of senior leadership from ETA, the division and Solicitor’s office to supervise this effort and coordinate enforcement to avoid duplication of efforts and maximize the efficiency of the department’s activities regarding the visa programs. The working group shall invite OIG to send representatives to participate in its efforts.
Read Secretary Acosta’s full announcement here.
Updated: Tue, Jun 20th 2017 @ 12:55pm EDT