YouTube is a bystander in the immigration controversy. A pair of senators have written to the U.S. Department of Labor regarding a video shown on the site thatreportedly shows attorneys giving advice on how to avoid hiring American workers. The letter, to Labor Secretary Elain Chao from Senators Chuck Grassley and Lamar Smith, was obtained byInformationWeek. The video posted on YouTube came from a May 15 seminar on immigration law. According to the letter from the senators, it illustrates,“the blatant disregard for American workers and deliberate attempt to bring in cheaper foreign workers through the H-1B program. … We seek your assistance in this particular case by reviewingthe video and investigating the law firm’s unethical procedures and advice to clients.” The senators have also written to the law firm that put on the seminar, requesting they beprovided with the number of H-1B visa holders who have been hired by the firm in the last five years, as well as the names of clients helped by the firm to bring in H-1B workers. The H-1B is anon-immigrant visa category that allows U.S. companies to temporarily use foreigners who are qualified to the equivalent of an American undergraduate degree. Although there’s theoretically a65,000 person quota limit, there are many exemptions granted, and there’s a large demand for H-1B visas among American corporations. The video in question evidently centered onexpediting the process by which temporary H-1B visas can be moved to permanent green card status. The video also offered advice on how to meet the minimum requirements for advertising a job so it waseasier to hire foreign workers. Under current law, the onus is on an employer to show there are no qualified U.S. citizens for a particular job before it can be offered to a foreigner. The lawfirm removed the video from YouTube on Monday, following criticism.
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