The Labor Department announced that it will increase protections for Americans as much as it can, while cracking down on fraud and abuse within various foreign guest worker programs.
In a news release, the Labor Department said it would implement a series of changes aimed at “aggressively” combating fraud and abuse within visa programs like the H-1B visa.
Every year, more than 100,000 foreign workers are brought to the U.S. on the H-1B visa. Most recently, that number has ballooned to potentially hundreds of thousands each year, as universities and non-profits are exempt from the cap. With more entering the U.S. through the visa, Americans are often replaced.
“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,” Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said in a statement. “We will enforce vigorously those laws, including heightened use of criminal referrals. 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.”
Under the new guidelines, the Labor Department will:
- Direct 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.
- Direct the department’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) 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.
- Direct 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.
- Establish 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.
The Labor Department move does not address the number of foreign workers which enter on visa programs every year.
Expectations of Acosta’s Labor Department were not high for pro-American worker advocates, as Breitbart News previously reported his support for foreign worker outsourcing visas and amnesty for illegal immigrants, two positions that were out-of-step with President Trump’s winning “America First” agenda.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.