Some politicians are responding.
“I support efforts to bring retain highly skilled entrepreneurs from around the world to spur growth,” Democratic Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu said, after the president used his State of the Union speech to call for more skilled immigration. But, she added, “I am focused on strengthening our homegrown workforce, so we have more PhDs, master’s degrees and innovators coming from Louisiana and across the country.”
Companies’ recruitment of foreign guest workers in lieu of Americans was highlighted this month by a federal lawsuit of Avant Healthcare Professionals, a Florida-based company.
“Hundreds of Avant Healthcare Professionals’ Internet-based job postings contained discriminatory language, impermissibly preferring foreign-trained individuals seeking permanent residence or H-1B visa sponsorship over U.S. workers,” said a Feb. 6 statement by the department.
The company paid $27,750 to settle the lawsuit, but did not admit any wrongdoing, said company CEO Shari Sandifer.
“Nothing has been proven — they had an accusation, we adamantly deny that accusation and we deny that any of our ads were discriminatory,” she told The Daily Caller. The legal settlement, she said, “supports our position that all we did was market to a segment of the market.”
The company hired overseas workers because it can’t find enough trained American workers, she said.
The segment of the market eyed by Sandifer consists of the many guest workers working in the United States.
The best-known category are foreigners holding H-1B visas, which allow them to work in the United States for up to six years.
There are numerous other categories for guest workers, including H-2 visas for agricultural workers, L visas for intra-company transfers, and O visas for people with “extraordinary ability or achievement.” The law also P visas for traveling entertainers, TN visas for workers from Mexico and Canada, and E-3 Visas for Australians.