Grassley seeks proof of jobs from H-1B applicants

WASHINGTON -- One of the U.S. Senate's leading critics of the H-1B visa program, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), is asking immigration officials to toughen their demands for evidence from companies hiring visa workers.

Grassley wants IT consulting companies that hire H-1B workers at third party client sites to prove that there is work waiting for them. The timing of his request to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS) is no accident or is Grassley's interest.

About a year ago, Grassley released a USCIS study that found either evidence of fraud or other violations in one-out-five H-1B visa petitions .

His letter to USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas, released Tuesday, also comes just prior to the start of the new fiscal year, Oct. 1 and the release of 66,700 H-1B visas petitions, a number well short of the cap, applied for since April 1, the start of the annual petition process.

In a statement accompanying the release of his letter to Mayorkas, Grassley said, that "Employers need to be held accountable so that foreign workers are not flooding the market, depressing wages, and taking jobs from qualified Americans. Asking the right questions and requesting the necessary documents will go a long way in getting out the fraud in the H-1B program."

Five months after USCIS completed its fraud study, federal officials arrested about a dozen people and charged with fraud. One of the cases involved a New Jersey company, Visions System Group Inc. alleged to have set up shell offices in Grassley's home state. The U.S. recently expanded the case ; the company is fighting the charges in federal court.

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