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Chinese Immig. Daily
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By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC
Two low-level Houston supervisors of Waste Management, Rudy Martinez and Israel Arquimides Martinez, were sentenced to over seven years in federal prison for stealing the identities of U.S. citizens and using them to hire more than 100 undocumented workers. The men both face deportation upon completion of their prison sentences.
The two men were convicted by a federal jury in April 2016 of 18 counts, including knowingly conspiring to employ unauthorized immigrants, encouraging them to reside in the U.S., and aggravated identity theft. Additionally, Rudy Martinez, was convicted of obstruction of justice by testifying falsely under oath and threatening a witness. Three higher ranking managers at Waste Management took plea deals and were called to testify by the prosecution.
The undocumented workers involved in the identity theft scheme worked at a site run by a Waste Management subcontractor. The workers were fired and then rehired in 2012 with other people's identities. Some of these workers, who face deportation, also testified about the hiring scheme.
This is another example of the potential for criminal liability if one knowingly hires many undocumented workers, especially where identity theft is used.
On April 3, significantly the first day of receiving H-1B cap subject petitions for the anticipated but not yet announced lottery for the 2018 fiscal year, USCIS instead of providing more information about the lottery or the processing of these petitions, issued an announcement entitled
Putting American Workers First: USCIS Announces Further Measures to Detect H-1B Visa Fraud and Abuse
The announcement is on the home page of the USCIS website.
While the actual details of the announcement may come as good news to thousands of law-abiding smaller and medium sized employers who may sponsor a few key H-1B employers each year, by focusing "fraud" investigations on the larger "H-1B dependent" companies and on the staffing agencies who use up a large percentage of these visas, the real message is in the above headline.
Continuing with its policy of branding Muslim immigrants as potential terrorists, as in the Muslim ban executive orders; and stigmatizing primarily Mexican and other Hispanic immigrants as criminals by publishing lists of criminal detainers refused by Sanctuary jurisdictions, and threatening to cut off their funding under INA Section 1373; the Trump administration is now continuing with its white nationalist anti-immigrant agenda by labeling high-skilled H-1B workers, most of whom are from South Asia, as agents of fraud who are "stealing" American jobs.
What does this say about the future of racial and religious equality for immigration policy in Donald Trump's America? Are we heading back toward the "Nordics"-only immigration regime of the 1924 Johnson-Reed Immigration Act faster than anyone except Stephen Bannon, Jeff Sessions and other Trump advisers who have supported that law could imagine?
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants obtain work visas and green cards for more than 35 years.
Roger's practice is primarily concentrated in H-1B specialty occupation and O-1 extraordinary ability work visas, J-1 training visas, and green cards through labor certification (PERM) and though opposite sex or same sex marriage. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated 04-09-2017 at 04:46 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs