The Darkside of the H1B Visa Program
Psychologists established long ago that any behavior, properly incentivized, is guaranteed to happen. US employers have an almost unquenchable thirst for skilled IT workers and are ready to pay a high price to fill their needs. For decades foreign IT recruiters, especially in India have faithfully fed their needs. However, with growing calls for H1-B visa reform and rebuilding the American IT workforce, the competition among foreign IT recruiters is growing vicious. So vicious that a dark side of H1-B IT recruiting is expanding. More often, foreign IT recruiters are submitting exaggerated, and sometimes completely fabricated, resumes to US IT employers and sending personnel through the H1-B program. Although faking a resume is unethical, the people who take the fall for this practice isn’t the foreign recruiter, but the person sent – and this fall usually happens in the presence of a US Customs and Border Patrol Agent.
As described by the website immigrationgirl.com
“Individuals seeking entry into the United States are inspected at Ports of Entry by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers who determine their admissibility…Even though USCIS may have approved an H-1B petition, a CBP officer at the port of entry gets to decide whether to admit an H-1B non-immigrant into the United States…It is becoming more common for H-1B travelers to be referred to secondary inspection at the port of entry. This can result in questioning under oath and searches of any cell phone, laptop, or other electronic device being carried. We have received reports of recent incidents in which H-1B workers’ cell phones and sworn statements in secondary inspection revealed multiple versions of resumes purporting to show that the individuals had years of experience with different U.S. employers. The individuals stated under oath that they or their employers had been submitting fake resumes to U.S. employers in an effort to secure work. Although the fake resumes were never submitted to USCIS to procure the H-1B petition approval, the officers found that the visas issued by the U.S. Consulate were not in compliance with the INA, thus making the individuals inadmissible…When an individual is found to be inadmissible at the port of entry, they are subject to Expedited Removal, a form of deportation which happens immediately and without going before an immigration judge. The long-term consequence of Expedited Removal is the possible enforcement of a five-year ban from entering the United States…If an employer is involved in creating and/or distributing fake resumes, it can ultimately lead to an ICE investigation of the entire company…The U.S.’s National Security Agency monitors communications between the US and foreign nationals over the internet. This can include everything from email, to chat, videos, photos, stored data, file transfers, and logins. Although this kind of monitoring would likely be unconstitutional if carried out against U.S. citizens, foreign nationals do not enjoy the same protection.”
Perhaps changes to the H1-B program will prevent such shenanigans from recruiting agencies in the future, but only time will tell.