As part of President Trump’s efforts to gain more control over immigration, the Department of Labor unveiled an initiative intended to address fraud and restore transparency in visa enforcement.
DOL’s increased enforcement efforts cover all of the foreign visa worker programs it administers, including the H-1B specialty occupation non-immigrant visa, H-2A and H-2B seasonal and agricultural worker visa programs, and the permanent foreign labor certification program.
DOL also said it will continue to work with the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to prioritize and publicize investigations into violations of visa programs.
“Entities who engage in visa program fraud and abuse are breaking our laws and are harming American workers, negatively affecting Americans’ ability to provide for themselves and their families,” Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta points out.
“We will enforce vigorously those laws, including heightened use of criminal referrals. The U.S. Department of Labor will focus on preventing visa program abuse and take every available legal action against those who abuse these programs.”
Under the department’s initiative:
- DOL’s Wage and Hour Division will use all its tools in conducting civil investigations to enforce labor protections provided by the visa programs.
- The Employment and Training Administration will revise the Labor Condition Application, and review investigatory forms to better identify systematic violations and potential fraud.
- The Wage and Hour Division, ETA and DOL counsel will coordinate enforcement activities of the visa programs and make referrals of criminal fraud to the Office of the Inspector General.
Attorneys for the law firm of Littler Mendelson urge employers to vigorously carry out risk assessments and make sure to maintain a comprehensive compliance program.