Media coverage of the Cohen & Grigsby
(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 &
"...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."
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
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.
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
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.
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
(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
California Assemblymen Brian Bilbray is outraged by the video,
stating that it is "crossing a line."
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.
2 lawmakers urge labor secretary to
probe 'blatant disregard for American
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
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.
A U.S. senator is among those seeking an inquiry of the YouTube video
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.
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
IT professionals criticize a law firm's video play-by-play
description on how to expediate the PERM process to more easily hire
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
H-1B opponents claim companies are advertising for positions that
aren't really open
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 . . .
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."
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
. . . 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.