DOJ: Outsourcing Firm Discriminated Against Americans for Jobs, Preferring Cheaper Foreign Visa Workers

H1-B Visa Workers
MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty

A New York-based outsourcing firm, working with an India-based company, discriminated against qualified Americans for tech jobs in the United States, preferring to hire cheaper foreign visa workers, a Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement states.

Amtex Systems Inc., according to the settlement agreement, discriminated against qualified American workers during a number of stages through the recruitment and hiring process. The goal, the settlement states, was to fill U.S. jobs with foreign workers on Optional Practical Training (OPT) visas.

Foreign OPT visa workers are often preferred over Americans by employers because they are cheaper to hire. These workers come with a roughly 15 percent discount as employers are allowed to avoid paying FICA taxes, resulting in a net savings for them of about $20 billion to $30 billion over the years.

The investigation into Amtex was first initiated by DOJ prosecutors when an American citizen filed a discrimination complaint against the firm for preferring foreign OPT visa workers.

“Based on its investigation, the department concluded that Amtex used a company operating in India to identify and screen job applicants based on clients’ preferences for workers with particular citizenship or immigration statuses,” DOJ prosecutors wrote in a news release:

The investigation determined that the recruiters sent job advertisements with their clients’ unlawful citizenship or immigration status preferences, and also implemented those preferences when considering applicants. [Emphasis added]

The recruiters’ practices harmed U.S. workers by deterring them from applying, and not considering those who did apply. For example, the investigation revealed that Amtex did not consider at least three U.S. workers when they applied to a job posting that stated a preference for workers with temporary employment visas. [Emphasis added]

Under the terms of the settlement, Amtex must pay $15,000 in civil penalties to the federal government and revise its hiring practices. Amtex will also be subject to monitoring by the DOJ for the next three years.

Last year, Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Andy Biggs (R-AZ) sponsored the Fairness for High-Skilled Americans Act, to end the OPT program and decrease foreign job competition for America’s working and middle class STEM graduates.

Despite corporations’ claims that there is a shortage of American workers to take coveted high-paying, white-collar jobs in the STEM fields, about four million young Americans enter the workforce each year. Many American workers have spoken out about how they were fired, replaced, and forced to train their foreign replacements.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here

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