The U.S. Secretary of Labor had directed the Department of Labor (DOL) to enforce laws within its jurisdiction that govern the administration and enforcement of non-immigrant visa programs. This announcement was made to protect the rights of the U.S. workers more aggressively against those entities who commit visa program fraud and abuse.
As per Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, entities engaging in visa program fraud and abuse is negatively affecting the U.S. worker’s ability to provide for themselves and their families. Hence, the DOL will focus on preventing such abuse and fraud by taking necessary legal action against those who abuse these programs.
The DOL will enforce and administer laws pertaining to non-immigrant programs which will include:
- Directing 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.
- Directing the department’s Employment and Training Administration to develop proposed changes to the Labour Condition Application, and for the division to review their investigatory forms, to better identify systematic violations and potential fraud in turn providing greater transparency to agency personnel, U.S. workers and the general public.
- Directing 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.
- Establishing 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 DOL will work in conjunction with the Department of Justice and Homeland Security for this investigation. By way of initiating, the DOL is now promoting the hiring of U.S. workers and is also prioritizing and publicising investigations and prosecution of entities who are in violation of the visa program. The DOL and the Office of Inspector General’s effort have already brought substantial results including, conviction of attorneys, employers, recruiters, corrupt government employees and labor brokers.
Manizeh Mistry, Deputy Head – Global Immigration