DOL $100 Million Training Grant Plays into H-1B Employers' Bogus Claims

By David North on June 9, 2016

The Department of Labor has announced that it is using $100 million in H-1B fees to train workers so that fewer H-1B workers will be needed (that last verb should be in quotation marks) in the future.

Sounds like good news, right?

Wrong! For two reasons:

1. While I am perfectly happy to see some American workers get federally funded training, the announcement plays directly into the hands of the big-league exploiters in the H-1B program, who contend that there is a shortage of IT workers, and thus they must search the world for talent that is missing in the American labor market. The "shortage" argument, of course, is a fig leaf designed to hide the real motives of most of those employers — a desire to cut wages.

2. If DOL (and Congress) really wanted to use H-1B fees to open up jobs for Americans, they could use a modest $20 million or so to hire (and train and supervise) 100 investigators whose sole responsibility would be to expose H-1B hiring abuses, take the H-1B slots from the employers, and send large numbers of H-1B workers back to their homelands. (I figure that for $200,000 a year you ought to be able to pay the wages and benefits for one investigator, and to train and supervise him or her, and cover travel expenses.)

The Department's press release says, in part:

Funded through fees paid by employers to bring foreign workers into the U.S. under the H-1B temporary visa program, these grants are intended to raise the technical skill levels of American workers and, over time, help businesses reduce their reliance on temporary visa programs.

The H-1B exploiters' alliance could not have phrased it better! Whereas the H-1B program, for instance, does permanent damage to hundreds of thousands of American careers, the pressies have managed to use the misleading word "temporary" twice in a single sentence.

Although the major problem with the H-1B program is the apparently lawful exploitation of H-1B workers by their employers and the resulting displacement of U.S. workers from the same jobs, in addition there is willful fraud by some employers who squeeze even more profits (illegally) out of the program. Three such illicit schemes were recently exposed in a period of 12 days, as we reported earlier.