Media coverage of the Cohen & Grigsby YouTube Video

(See the video coverage on our YouTube site, and more info on Cohen & Grigsby here.)

Senator Charles Grassley and Congressman Lamar Smith's letters to Department of Labor and to Cohen & Grigsby

"...We would like you to please explain how this practice does not constitute outright discrimination based on nationality and why your firm so blatantly promotes this type of behavior."

City law firm's immigration video sparks and Internet Firestorm

Friday, June 22, 2007

By Anya Sostek, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

What started as a simple marketing video for Downtown law firm Cohen & Grigsby has resulted in an Internet firestorm encompassing tens of thousands of YouTube viewers, Lou Dobbs and the U.S. Secretary of Labor.

. . . Yesterday, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao asking her for assistance in "reviewing the video and investigating the law firm's unethical procedures."

What made the video into such an Internet hit, said Mr. Berry, is that it validated long-held suspicions that he and others had been unable to substantiate.

"It's proof from the attorneys themselves that they are getting resumes from qualified Americans and they are going through all sorts of steps so that Americans don't get jobs," he said. "It shows what's really happening behind the curtain."

But the issue is slightly more complicated than it is being portrayed on the Internet, said Crystal Williams, deputy director for programs at the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Washington, D.C.

When companies apply for a green card for a worker, she said, it's often for somebody that they already have brought over on a temporary visa and is working at the company. But in order to fill the green card requirement that there are no qualified American candidates, the company needs to redo the job search -- even though they already have somebody working in that position.

. . . That twisted process leads to what Mr. Berry considers to be "fake" newspaper advertisements for jobs that are essentially already filled with green card candidates. For years, he's been tracking such ads in his hometown newspaper, The Sacramento Bee.

Pittsburgh lawyers' immigration talk hits YouTube, draws scorn

The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH - A video highlighting how a Pittsburgh law firm works around U.S. laws to obtain visas for foreign employees was posted on YouTube, quickly fanning the immigration debate, incurring the wrath of a powerful U.S. senator and drawing the Department of Labor into the fray.

Video clip on immigration law trouble for Pittsburgh law firm

By David M. Brown
Saturday, June 23, 2007
A prominent Pittsburgh law firm has become embroiled in a controversy over a video posted on the Internet that depicts one of the firm's lawyers explaining how to work around U.S. laws to obtain visas for foreign employees.

BusinessWeek: Outsourcing: How to Skirt the Law

Want to hire cheaper foreign workers instead of Americans? A lawyer tells you how to game the immigration system—and it's all on YouTube

YouTube Video On Foreign Workers Stirs Debate

Image  (Article and video)

Sue Kwon

(CBS 5) A video posted on YouTube is stirring anger and debate in Silicon Valley. It shows attorneys with Cohen & Grigsby telling their corporate clients how to get around Federal rules around hiring foreign workers.

Fox News Video: Cheap Labor 101

California Assemblymen Brian Bilbray is outraged by the video, stating that it is "crossing a line."

Network World: 'How to cheat H-1B' video stokes immigration fires

H-1B immigration law on the hot seat in Washington and online

By Michael Cooney Network World 06/21/07

The business of H-1B visas has never been uglier. . . Throwing gasoline on the fire, this week Network World's Buzzblog posted a video of lawyers holding a panel discussion on the ins and outs of helping employers side-step immigration law.

San Francisco Chronicle  

Video raises concern about firms' H-1B abuses

2 lawmakers urge labor secretary to probe 'blatant disregard for American workers'

A video clip that teaches employers how not to hire Americans has prompted two lawmakers to ask Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to investigate whether U.S. companies may be abusing the H-1B visa program. 

BusinessWeek: Outsourcing: How to Skirt the Law

Want to hire cheaper foreign workers instead of Americans? A lawyer tells you how to game the immigration system—and it's all on YouTube

by Moira Herbst

June 22, 2007 - The video looks as though it could have been shot at almost any sleepy corporate seminar in the country, with one camera panning between a man in a suit and tie standing at a podium and others seated nearby. But the dialogue is riveting: It's a group of lawyers openly discussing strategies for helping their clients pretend that they're trying to recruit American workers—as required by law—while they, in fact, hire cheaper foreign workers.

Computerworld: Labor Dept. probe of H-1B video sought

A U.S. senator is among those seeking an inquiry of the YouTube video
Patrick Thibodeau

June 21, 2007 (Computerworld) -- WASHINGTON -- That explosive H-1B YouTube video offering advice on how to hire foreign workers instead of Americans has gotten the attention of U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, (R-Iowa), and Rep. Lamar Smith, (R-Texas), who called it evidence of abuse of the visa program. Both men want a federal investigation and are seeking answers from the law firm that posted the original video on YouTube.

InformationWeek: Lawyer Group Responds To Controversial YouTube Video

The American Immigration Lawyers Association advises employers to meet the legal requirements when hiring foreign nationals, even if the process is "far from perfect."

By Mary Hayes Weier
Jun 22, 2007 02:49 PM

The American Immigration Lawyers Association released a statement Friday about practices employers must take before hiring foreign nationals following a controversial YouTube video.

This was the first coverage that started the firestorm. Thanks InformationWeek!

InformationWeek: YouTube Video On Avoiding U.S. Job Applicants Angers Programmers

IT professionals criticize a law firm's video play-by-play description on how to expediate the PERM process to more easily hire foreign workers.

By Mary Hayes Weier

Jun 18, 2007 05:55 PM - YouTube bites again. A law firm's attempt to get positive exposure for an immigration law conference by posting it on You Tube backfired when an organization that's been tough on H-1B visas and offshore outsourcing copied it and made a controversial video of its own.

USA TODAY: Need for immigrant workers in dispute

By Kathy Kiely, USA TODAY - June 25, 2007

WASHINGTON — A grainy video on YouTube and the angry response it prompted from two congressmen last week dramatize some of the tensions underlying the immigration debate set to resume Tuesday in the Senate.

PC Magazine: Law Firm's Video a 'Blatant Disregard for American Workers'

By Deborah Perelman - June 26, 2007

A video in which an immigration law firm offers advice on avoiding hiring U.S. workers when a foreign worker is preferred for a position set off a firestorm of criticism last week, drawing the attention, and ire, of a U.S. senator and congressman, who call it a "blatant disregard for American workers."

Goodbye to the City on the Hill

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS - June 25, 2007

America is being destroyed. Many Americans are unaware, others are indifferent, and some intend it.

. . . The problem is that middle class jobs, both in manufacturing and in professional occupations such as engineering, are being offshored as corporations replace their American workforces with foreigners. I have called jobs offshoring "virtual immigration."

The latest bombshell is that even those professional jobs that remain located in America are not safe. There is a vast industry of immigration law firms that enable American corporations to replace their American workers with foreigners brought in on work visas.

For years Americans have been told that work visas are only issued in cases where there are no Americans with the necessary skills to fill the jobs. Americans have been reassured that safeguards are in place to prevent US companies from using the work visas to replace their American employees with foreigners paid below the prevailing US wage. Now, thanks to a video placed on "YouTube" by a US law firm, Cohen & Grigsby, marketing its services, we now know that it is easy for US companies to legally evade the "safeguards" and to replace their American employees with lower paid foreigners.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Editorial

Legal weasel words

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Cohen & Grigsby might know the letter of immigration law but its spirit is an alien concept to the Pittsburgh law firm.

. . . Begging the Department of Labor for H-1B visas to hire foreigners -- after skirting the law to create the perception that there are simply not enough U.S. workers to fill the positions -- is hardly a good-faith effort. It's also reprehensible.

ComputerWorld: Controversial YouTube video puts sharp focus on tech job ads

H-1B opponents claim companies are advertising for positions that aren't really open

Patrick Thibodeau

June 28, 2007 (Computerworld) -- Cisco Systems Inc. placed a help wanted ad for a network consulting engineer in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, June 3, and David Huber, a networking professional who lives in Chicago, was interested in the job.

. . . Huber said his question was answered a couple of weeks later when he saw the controversial YouTube video that shows an attorney from a Pittsburgh law firm . . .

eWeek: H-1b Increase Dealt Death Blow

Deborah Perelman - June 28, 2007

. . .IT worker advocates such as the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, a tech union, and the Programmers Guild, a tech worker advocacy, vehemently dispute the assertion that there is a shortage of qualified U.S. IT professionals, often pointing to loopholes in the employment systems that leave those systems rife with abuse.

On June 16, the Programmers Guild published on YouTube a video in which an immigration law firm offered advice on how to avoid hiring U.S. workers when a foreign worker is preferred for a position. This set off a firestorm of criticism, drawing the attention and ire of a U.S. senator and congressman, who called it a "blatant disregard for American workers."

Christian Science Monitor: The vanishing American computer programmer

Move to increase number of foreign worker visas fails in Senate, but that has not stopped what critics call a push for cheaper labor.

July 2, 2007 - A popular video recently posted on the Internet's YouTube shows an immigration lawyer talking to a group of business people in May about the process of hiring foreigners for their companies.

. . . The video was lifted from the law firm's website and put on YouTube by the Programmers Guild, a nonprofit group with 1,500 members, most of them older than 40, and many of whom can't find jobs in their areas of expertise.