Sen. Mike Lee’s America: Indian Firm in Chicago Paid Employees India-level Wages, Took Jobs from U.S. Graduates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) speaks during day two of the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference on May 30, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Members of the Republican Party are scheduled to speak at the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference, which hosts 1,500 delegates from across the country through May 31st. (Photo by …
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

An Indian-run company in Chicago illegally imported Indian graduates — and paid them Indian-level wages — to help snatch jobs from American graduates.

The fraud exploited loopholes in the B1 visas, which are reserved for managers and trainees according to a press statement by the Department of Homeland Security.

The announcement comes as Silicon Valley investors, the high-tech industry, and GOP Sen. Mike Lee are pressuring GOP Sen. David Perdue to let them pass a pro-Indian bill through the Senate via a “unanimous consent” vote. The bill, S.386, dangles the huge prize of valuable green-cards to millions of Indian graduates if they take middle-class jobs from college-graduate Americas.

The vote could come as early as Tuesday.

Lee S.386’s bill would offer up to 140,000 green cards each year — up from roughly 20,000 now — to Indian graduates who accept low wages while taking middle-class jobs from American software developers, doctors, therapists, designers, accountants, engineers, and managers.

There is no limit on the number of Indian graduates who can take U.S. jobs while they compete for the green cards because there is no cap on H-1B visas, L-visas or OPT work permits. Already, roughly 1 million Indian college-graduates are working in U.S. jobs.

Lee’s proposed green-cards-for-cheap-labor deal would be a huge boon for the Indian government.

Lee’s deal would also aid U.S. investors — FWD.us, for example — by cutting their labor costs — and it would push the U.S. graduate class closer to the same traumatic downsizing that millions of American factory workers suffered when their jobs and careers were exported to China to boost stock values on Wall Street.

The Senate vote to block or pass the legislation will be held in the Senate this week, according to Lee.

So far, GOP Sen. Perdue is the only Senator who is blocking the outsourcing bill on behalf of tens of millions of young American college graduates — many of whom are strong advocates for more migration and diversity.

The Democratic-run House already passed a similar HR.1044 bill, with the aid of 140 GOP legislators.

President Donald Trump’s deputies have not said if he will veto the combined bill.

The Department of Homeland Security described the Indian fraud at Mu Sigma:

Mu Sigma – a large, advanced analytics service provider headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, with its main delivery center in Bangalore, India – was illegally circumventing U.S. government H-1B visa regulations by actively employing B1 visitor visa holders under contract within the U.S. In addition, the company’s invitation letters for the B1 visa holders misrepresented the nature of the B1 visitors’ intended business. Furthermore, company officials illegally instructed potential B1 business visitors and company handlers how to avoid detection by U.S. authorities.

….

Mu Sigma B1 visa holders who were illegally working in the United States were also paid in India at India-based wages, which are substantially lower than their U.S. counterparts. This unlawful employment tactic greatly increased Mu Sigma’s profit margins and the company’s ability to provide low bids for end-user contracts.

This investigation identified about 400 potential B1 visa violators, and more than 300 instances of illegal visa bond contracts, during the defined five-year statute of limitations. Investigating special agents also identified nine Mu Sigma executives and managers who actively participated in these schemes.

Indian graduates are paid roughly $7,000 a year.  But the company — including nine managers — was only fined $2.5 million for the violations.

Federal law includes loopholes for companies to claim they did not break the B1 visa rules. The DHS press statement linked to a document saying that B1 visas can be used for:

Consulting with business associates … Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates … Negotiating a contract … Participating in short-term training.

Mu Sigma is a successful Indian firm, and was described in Forbes as “India’s first profitable unicorn” — which is Silicon Valley jargon for a privately held company worth more than $1 billion.

The Mu Sigma case may be the tip of an iceberg of B1 fraud because the potential for Indian B1 fraud is vast.

The B1 visas last for ten years and allow visitors to stay in the United States for six months at a time. In 2019, the DHS report on visa overstays reported that 1.o8 million Indians visited the United States using the combined B1/B2 visa. The report did not provide any details on the number of repeat visits by company employees.

U.S. officials have already exposed numerous examples of H-1B and OPT fraud by Indian managers. “Based on your time in the U.S., you have basically defrauded everyone you could defraud,” a Seattle judge recently told one Indian executive as he was sentenced to seven years of jail for H-1B fraud, according to a report in the Seattle Times.

The fraud will likely expand if the Indian government persuades the U.S. government to include India in the “Visa Waiver” program. Once added, millions of Indians could travel freely into the U.S. labor market.

India’s fast-growing population of 1.3 billion people includes roughly 123 million young men aged between 15 and 24.

Roughly 630,000 illegal-immigrant Indians have moved into the United States during the last decade or more, so driving down wages while boosting real-estate and stock values. The illegal population includes many lower-caste workers imported by higher-caste business owners and many young graduates who failed to into the H-1B visa program.

Mu Sigma, the Indian-run firm in Chicago, also violated the American rules for H-1B visa workers, according to the DHS press statement:

Mu Sigma also required its employees to sign bond contracts that unlawfully sought reimbursement of up to $10,000 of the H-1B visa costs if an employee ceased employment before an agreed upon date. Additionally, to circumvent U.S. laws that might delay or prevent their entry into the U.S., Mu Sigma instructed its H-1B employees to misrepresent to U.S. consular and border officials their intended destination of employment within the U.S.

U.S. and Indian companies keep a population of roughly 600,000 Indian H-1B workers, along with at least 200,000 Indians on other work permits, including H4EAD, L-1, OPT, TN, and J- visas.

Overall, at least 1.4 million foreign graduates hold U.S. white-collar jobs using the visas and work permits. This population is far larger than the 800,000 Americans who graduate from college in 2018 with degrees in healthcare, business, accounting, engineering, science, software, math or architecture.

Many of these Indians are employed by U.S.-based subcontractors who are in long-term outsourcing contracts with brand-name companies, including in the Internet, retail, banking, insurance, travel, design, healthcare, and accounting sectors.

Many of the Indian employers run their companies using Indian ideas and social norms — such as the idea of an ingrained “caste” hierarchy — regardless of U.S. laws against nepotism, bribery, and national, racial and sexual discrimination.

The resulting corporate islands of India-style discrimination are causing Americans to file lawsuits against their Indian employers. For example, on September 9, Kotchen & Low filed a lawsuit in San Jose on behalf of an American who was allegedly belittled and sidelined by Indian managers at an U.S.-based Indian company, named “Happiest Minds.” The lawsuit says:

On information and belief, both Happiest Minds’ internal recruiters and its third-party recruiters give preference to locating and recruiting South Asian and Indian candidates, who are then given preference throughout the hiring process

Happiest Minds’ U.S. workforce reflects the result of its discriminatory scheme. While only about 12% of the U.S. IT industry and only 1-2% of the U.S. population as a whole is South Asian, approximately 90% (or more) of Happiest Minds’ United States-based workforce is South Asian and Indian, as is the vast majority of its managerial and supervisory-level staff.

Americans are also fired at higher rates by the company’s executive, says the lawsuit:

Non-South Asians and non-Indians assigned to projects and those working in  sales roles are terminated at substantially higher rates than South Asian and Indians. For instance, while Happiest Minds hired just 23 non-South Asians from January 2014 through October 2018, Plaintiff is aware of four non-South Asian and non-Indian salespersons (in addition to herself) who were involuntarily terminated by Happiest Minds during this same period.

The Indian managers publicly mistreated the plaintiff, Tami Sulzberg, says the lawsuit:

To her knowledge, Ms. Sulzberg was the only female salesperson in the United States, and the only salesperson (of approximately 25 individuals) who was non-South Asian and non-Indian. Every member of Happiest Minds’ leadership team, including its Executive Chairman, Executive Board, and Officers are also South Asian …

Ms. Sulzberg’s colleagues created a hostile work environment for her. For instance, Ms. Sulzberg was excluded by her South Asian colleagues who spoke in Hindi, thereby precluding her from participating in certain conversations, and was specifically asked not to attend the first portion of the meeting involving the whole group. Ms. Sulzberg was given no explanation as to why she was told not to attend the first portion of the sales meeting and why she, the only non-Indian in attendance, was the only person Happiest Minds attempted to exclude. Further, when Ms. Sulzberg gave her presentation at the sales meeting, the CEO of Happiest Minds, Salil Godika, was rude to Ms. Sulzberg, and repeatedly interrupted her, stating that he didn’t want to look at her PowerPoint and telling her to “move on, move on.” While Ms. Sulzberg was allotted one hour for her presentation,

{CEO Salil Godika] cut her off after just ten minutes. Mr. Godika also asked Ms. Sulzberg to book him a hotel room for a future meeting with Gap Inc., despite the fact that Ms. Sulzberg’s sales role did not involve such administrative or secretarial responsibilities.

Numerous other Americans describe similar episodes of Indian favoritism for other Indians. Beckie, a programmer at an international bank in North Carolina, told Breitbart:

I was working on a project and doing well … [but] the Director from India decided to transfer the project management to his friend from India … The new project manager tried to make me look bad to the Director.  He claimed that I was not showing interest in the project, was not attending meetings.  I attended every meeting except for two. I missed the one meeting because the new project manager sent the meeting notification out by email literally 15 minutes prior to the meeting. I was working on something and did not see the notice in time. It was not an important meeting and he could have called if it had been. I missed the other meeting because the new project manager sent the meeting notification out by email late on Friday (after I would have left for the day) for a meeting that occurred on either Sunday or Monday (I forget). In any case, the meeting occurred before I would normally return to work on Monday. I missed the two meetings because I did not know about them. Luckily, I had the email notifications as proof, but I knew I would eventually be removed from the project because of the new project manager’s preference. I was grateful for the heads up I received from the American project manager!

There was eventually a mass layoff at the same company. I was out that day, but when I went to clear out my desk the next day, I glanced down the aisle and noticed that the desk of the only other American left in the aisle had already been cleared out.  He was not in my group.

Beckie remains unemployed, partly because Indian recruiters can be paid bonuses for getting underemployed Indian visa-workers into the new jobs sought by young American graduates.

 

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.