June 2, 2003

 

Ms. Elaine Chao                                                          Sent Cert. Mail # 7003050000240446676

Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor         Return Receipt Requested

Frances Perkins Building

200 Constitution Ave. NW

Washington, D.C. 20210

 

CC:

 

Dr. William L. Carlson, Ph.D. - Chief

Division of Foreign Labor Certification.

U.S. Department of Labor

Employment and Training Administration

200 Constitution Ave. NW

Washington, D.C. 20210

 

The Honorable Saxby Chambliss

416 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington DC 20510

 

154 Signers of the original letter

 

RE: Petition by 154 U.S. workers harmed by LCA’s issued by Department of Labor   for H-1B visas.

 

Dear Labor Secretary Chao,

 

We were disappointed that neither you nor anyone in your office that is charged with keeping U.S. workers gainfully employed responded to our May 3, 2003 letter. Instead our letter was routed to Dr. William Carlson, Chief of the Foreign Labor Certification Division, who is charged with approving the Labor Certification Attestations (LCA’s) that have substantially harmed those American workers who were seeking your assistance.

Once again, we are beseeching you, as U.S. Labor Secretary, to address the harm being done to U.S. workers by the H-1B Visa program, and ask that you or a staff member charged with protecting U.S. workers act on our May 3rd letter.

According to your Department of Labor website:

The mission of the Foreign Labor Certification Program is to allow employers to hire foreign workers, temporarily or permanently, when there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to perform the job. In addition, the program will ensure that the employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers that are similarly employed...The role of the Department of Labor is to certify to the Secretary of State and the Attorney General that these conditions are met before a foreign worker is brought to the U.S. on an employment-based visa."

www.ows.doleta.gov/foreign/mission.asp

 

Dr. Carlson’s response, citing statutes, affirmed that the Foreign Labor Certification Division that he oversees, issues LCA’s in spite of ample qualified U.S. workers, with the full knowledge that these LCA’s are adversely impacting U.S. workers.

Our letter requested reasonable actions that the Department of Labor could take. For example, action item number 2 from our May 3rd letter:

“Call on Congress to restore adequate worker protections to the nonimmigrant visa statutes, such as requiring that all LCAs demonstrate a lack of qualified U.S. workers, and a due process means of excluded U.S. workers to challenge LCAs.”

 

Given Dr. Carlson’s knowledge that the LCA’s his department has issued in the past few years have deprived hundreds of thousands of U.S. worker of their paycheck, the above request does not seem unreasonable.

 

Tracking of U.S. Workers Displaced by LCAs

 

The LCA’s granted by the Department of Labor in the past five years have displaced hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers -- as evident by the testimonials of 154 U.S. workers in our first letter.

 

What kind of tracking does DOL maintain on the number of gainfully employed U.S. workers who have been displaced by the influx of H-1B visa holders who have been granted LCA’s?  Can DOL provide any good estimates? Does DOL deem LCA’s impact on U.S. workers relevant?

 

Formal Protest of LCA’s failure to protect U.S. Workers

 

Please advise us which Division within the U.S. Department of Labor is charged with protecting the interests and rights of U.S. workers rather than furthering the employment opportunities of alien workers in the U.S. labor market -- as your office has apparently taken as their task.

 

Speaking on behalf of the ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FOUR harmed American workers, we would like to file a formal protest with the U.S. Department of Labor for failing to enforce the minimum conditions of the LCA standards as required by federal statute. Please advise whom we should contact and the procedure for doing so.

 

Please act on behalf of U.S. Workers

 

With 154 signatories representing thousands more displaced American citizen workers we have sought the Department of Labor’s help in our good faith letter to Secretary Chao on May 3rd.  The response we received on May 27th did not clarify what actions Secretary Chao will take in support of this very representative group of American workers, nor did it explain why all of our suggested actions were ignored.

 

The response from Dr. Carlson failed to state what, if any, actions you, Secretary Chao have or will be taking to address our harms. Are we to assume by Dr. Carlson's willful neglect of these concerns that you, as Secretary of Labor have no intent in seeing that the rights of U.S. workers are protected nor their complaints investigated by the Department of Labor?  If this is so, then it is contrary to your own statement on the Department of Labor website upon which we the American worker relied upon as we turned to you for assistance:

 

"Getting people back to work is what this Department does. Giving people hope in their future is our job."

— Secretary Elaine L. Chao

 

If you read the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times, you know that many Americans are running out of hope. The despair reaches across this nation, including a recent suicide by a laid off U.S. programmer in the parking lot of his former employer, Bank of America in California. Yet DOL continues to grant LCA’s to this employer, in spite of overwhelming evidence of the intent to displace U.S. workers.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Mr. Kim Berry – Computer programmer                              PRINCIPAL CONTACT

“Underemployed computer programmer BSCS 1990 magna cum laude”

kimberry@justice.com

 

Mr. Glenn R. Jackson – Sr. Manager. IT                             PRINCIPAL CONTACT

"Unemployed for 18 months after a 24-year career in IT."

grjackson@mindspring.com

 

 

ON BEHALF OF 154 U.S. WORKERS, AND THE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DISPLACED U.S. WORKERS THEY REPREPRESENT