One of the best tools used to uncover fraud in the H-1B and L-1 nonimmigrant worker programs has just been hurt by yet another effort by the administration to undercut the enforcement of immigrant law.
This tool is an unannounced visit by a DHS official who will (a) make sure that the entity exists as stated on an application, and (b) look at documentation such as pay slips.
In the past the employer in question had to work with the investigators; now, according to immigration lawyer Alan Lee, cooperation with these visits is voluntary.
Mr. Lee writes on the Immigration Daily website:
[I]t is nice to know that the employer does have the option to decide not to go forward with FDNS's [Fraud Detection and National Security] site visit when unprepared, and that it can ask the officer to come back another day or go over the compliance review by other means.
I would revise the text above to say "it is deeply disturbing to know".
While I can see situations in which an unexpected visit by a DHS official might complicate life for a law-abiding firm (such as a conflict with an off-site retreat by all staff members) I worry that such postponements would simply give the employer and opportunity to destroy and/or tamper with evidence.