The U.S. Department of Labor’s internal watchdog has identified numerous vulnerabilities in the programs for recruiting foreign workers, rendering them “highly susceptible to fraud,” according to a report released Tuesday. The findings from Assistant Inspector General Elliot P. Lewis outlined several ways in which foreign labor certification programs, PERM, H-1B, H-2A, and H-2B were ripe for abuse.
ETA is unable to assess whether the foreign worker hired to fill the position is the candidate indicated on the application or possesses the required qualifications (previously reported). The H-1B application does not require the foreign worker’s name or qualifications. The H-1B application only requires ETA’s approval of the total number of positions, without any specifics regarding the foreign workersOverview of Volnerabilities and Challenges in Foreign Labor Certification Programs, DoL
Limited protections continue to exist for qualified U.S. workers with respect to the H-1B program (previously reported). Our 2003 report identified that the H-1B program does not require there be a shortage of U.S. workers in the occupation for which foreign workers are being hired. For 96 percent of theOverview of Volnerabilities and Challenges in Foreign Labor Certification Programs, DoL
applications filed in FY 2019, employers did not have to recruit U.S. workers and, therefore, U.S. workers may not have been given an opportunity to compete for these positions. Employers only had to make the attestations described above,
including that they will pay foreign workers the prevailing wage rate of the locality and the employment will not affect the working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed.
As long as H-1B applications are complete and free of obvious errors or inaccuracies, ETA’s role continues to be limited to simply rubber-stamping during the application certification process (previously reported).Overview of Volnerabilities and Challenges in Foreign Labor Certification Programs, DoL
Employers are not required to provide supporting documentation for their
attestations on complying with program requirements. Once ETA receives the application, it has 7 working days to certify the application is complete and does not contain obvious inaccuracies. If the application is incomplete and/or contains obvious inaccuracies, ETA returns the application to the employer. The employer may submit a corrected application.
Employers are still not complying with program requirements, continuing to leave the program susceptible to fraud (previously reported).Overview of Volnerabilities and Challenges in Foreign Labor Certification Programs, DoL