A skewed news report triggered many progressive politicians, activists, and journalists to declare outrage towards the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) deportation of more than 200 Indian students — even though the ICE operation was launched under former President Barack Obama to block commonplace fraud against U.S. college graduates.
The progressive stampede was started by the Detroit Free Press, which shouted “ICE” into the nation’s political theater on November 27.
But the newspaper buried the facts in the sixteenth paragraph, which explained why the Indians were breaking the law when they signed up at a no-show university to get fast-track work permits. The Indians used the work permits to grab white-collar jobs sought by American college graduates.
Democrats stampeded over a rhetorical cliff.
“DHS tricked immigrant students with the promise of education, cheating them out of millions of dollars,” said a tweet from Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar. “Then ICE arrested them. … This has always been about dehumanizing black and brown people. It must end now,” she said in a tweet that received 25,000 responses.
“Congress rushed to approve BILLIONS more $ for ICE + CBP. … Now ICE is setting up fake universities to trap students,” said a tweet from New York Democrat Rep. Ocasio Cortez. Her tweet got 120,000 responses.
“This story is WILD,” said a tweet from Lis Power, the “Director of Media Intelligence” at Media Matters for America. “ICE created a fake university, then: – enticed foreign-born students to attend – charged them money – arrested them – deported them Students had come legally on student visas, but since the school was fake the visas weren’t valid,” said her tweet, which got 370,000 responses.
“This is cruel and appalling,” said a tweet from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Twitter team, which got 34,000 responses. “These students simply dreamed of getting the high-quality higher education America can offer. ICE deceived and entrapped them, just to deport them”:
Sen. Liz Warren joins with Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Bloomberg, Tim Cook & various investors to endorse the India-backed OPT visa-worker program. This 'mini-H-1B' pushes 100Ks of American graduates out of good jobs – and spikes stock values. https://t.co/oAaIl3KyM8
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) November 28, 2019
The tweets spotlighted the Democrats’ emotional commitment to foreigners and their visceral dislike of Americans’ border defenses.
But the progressives’ stampede was also caused by their prior disregard of the widespread fraud in the business-backed visa-worker programs. Those programs include the H-1B, L-1, OPT, and J-1 programs, which keep roughly 1.5 million foreign graduates in jobs sought by American graduates. These foreign workers grab many well-paid jobs in coastal states — and also demote unaware American graduates to lower-wage, lower-status careers in provincial towns — while cutting billions of dollars from investors’ payrolls.
The Detroit Free Press touted the news about the Indian deportations yet buried the description of the Indian fraud under an Indian lawyer’s insistence of innocence:
The U.S. “trapped the vulnerable people who just wanted to maintain (legal immigration) status,” Rahul Reddy, a Texas attorney who represented or advised some of the students arrested, told the Free Press this week. “They preyed upon on [sic] them.”
Reddy is the in-house lawyer for Indian-run software contractors at the Texas-based ITServe Alliance. The companies hire many of the estimated 50,000 Indian graduates who get OPT work permits from colleges each year.
Once in the United States, fraud is rational because it helps many — not all — Indian temporary workers win the hugely valuable prizes of Americans’ white-collar jobs and of American citizenship:
GAO warns DHS to do more to prevent the smuggling of Indian and Chinese graduates into U.S. white-collar careers, such as software, healthcare, accounting, etc. Most smuggling takes place via the universities' 'OPT' work-permit giveaway to foreign grads. https://t.co/NSUIVQDO4m
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) August 27, 2019
Americans’ professional codes of ethics have minimized domestic fraud in U.S. workplaces.
But those codes blind Americans to the diversity of tactics used by many of the Indian graduates, such as inflating resumes, trading bribes for jobs, hiring relatives, and excluding unsuspecting Americans from job interviews. Some Indian workers readily provide anecdotal evidence of these practices to American reporters who want to listen.
But there is little legal enforcement of workplace laws.
The result is that some Indian managers can run U.S. offices where the vast majority of new hires are Indians, apparently without any fear that American officials will investigate the obviously skewed hiring patterns for racial, sexual, and anti-American discrimination.
Alongside the Democrat politicians, many progressive journalists rushed to condemn ICE’s successful operation.
The denunciations came from Politico’s Natasha Bertrand, Mark Bergen at Bloomberg, Matt Pearce at the Los Angeles Times, and Kyle Griffin at MSNBC. “Abolish ICE,” reacted Farhad Manjoo, an immigrant columnist at the New York Times. “Leave it to the Trump administration to use a fake university. … How is this anything but entrapment?” said a tweet from Jamil Smith at Rolling Stone.
Establishment editors also skewed the coverage Axios tweeted: “ICE has arrested about 250 foreign students for immigration violations because they enrolled in a fake university created by the Department of Homeland Security, the Detroit Free Press reports,” although the site’s linked article explained the fraud. “ICE set up a fake university, then arrested 250 people it gave student visas to,” said a misleading tweet from the Washington Post.
The ICE sting at the fake Farmington University worked because many Indian visa workers have become complacent about the enforcement of U.S. workplace laws.
Obama’s deputies created the fake university to target the Indians who use fraud to get work permits via the Occupational Practical Training (OPT) program for foreign graduates and the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) program for foreign students.
Those work permits were created and expanded by U.S. presidents seeking to placate high-tech investors, such as Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. The OPT and CPT work permits allow the Indian graduates to fly into the United States, pay their tuition, and then compete for the many low wage jobs offered by Indian managers at many U.S. companies. Those started jobs then allow the Indians to compete for coveted H-1B work permits, which allow them to apply for the hugely valuable prize of citizenship.
These OPT and CPT jobs are varied and range from starvation wage jobs in Texas software sweatshops to $100,000 prestige jobs in Silicon Valley. The actual wages are difficult to track, partly because employers frequently shortchange their Indian workers and demand kickbacks. Indians are willing to pay the kickbacks because their U.S.-based Indian managers have the legal power to send them home or provide the hugely valuable prize of U.S. citizenship.
The huge number of Indian visa workers has also ensured that fraud, caste politics, and bribery are increasingly common in workplaces that were once dominated by American white-collar professionals. For example, many U.S. professionals report anonymously that a large number of Indian managers only hire Indians and also refuse to hire Americans who cannot be trusted to stay quiet about kickbacks. Some of these complaints are documented by a growing number of lawsuits against Indian managers in U.S companies.
The federal government provides some data about the American universities that accept tuition payments in exchange for awarding OPT and CPT work permits to the Chinese, Indian, and other foreign competitors of their American graduates.
The data also shows the companies where managers are using the programs to hire foreign graduates instead of Americans.
Amid the Democrat stampede, Michigan Democrats Qasim Rashid declared the DHS success “horrifying.”
Generally, establishment media outlets have ignored the many OPT and H-1B scandals — even though both have created political problems for President Donald Trump — but this progressive stampede may encourage more attention:
This is #OPT day: Three articles about Indian fraud, American naivete, elite cynicism & investor greed in the 300,000 worker-per-year Optional Practical Training work-permit program.https://t.co/3ZLyhJAMsQ, https://t.co/oAaIl3KyM8, https://t.co/YldjNlRZyA
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) November 28, 2019