The Pearl Street Scam—Or How To Displace American Workers Without Quite Breaking The Law
August 14, 2007, 05:00 AM
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Several people in places like Detroit, Michigan got suspicious when employment ads in local newspapers requested that their resumes should be sent to a location in Dallas, Texas —on Pearl Street. Without exception the people who sent resumes to Pearl Street never got replies. It's as if their resumes were being sucked into a black hole.

For several months, there were discussions on Dice.com and Indeed.com about the mystery of Pearl Street. Eventually several very clever people on those message threads pieced the puzzle together and figured out what was happening to their resumes. More importantly they cracked THE CODE. (Carrie's Nation blog has a very good summary of the entire story.

Job ads that contained the Pearl St. mailing address aren't hard to find. They are sometimes posted on the Department of Labor Job Bank and they often appear in newspaper classifieds for private companies. (NOTE: America's Job Bank is changing to America's Job Exchange. A couple of examples follow at the end of this article, and one of them was scanned from the San Luis Obispo Tribune. [PDF])

One thing that these job ads have in common: a job code at the end of each ad. Sometimes it's very obvious because it's preceded with the letters "ETA" which is short for the DOL Employment and Training Administration. Look for the bolded numbers in italics in the examples below.

The first question you might be asking: what is at Pearl Street in Dallas Texas? The answer: Dept. of Labor ETA, an office that processes Labor Certifications. This is their contact information:

U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
700 North Pearl St., Suite 400N
Dallas, Texas 75201
Phone: (214) 237-9111
Fax: (214) 237-9135

Now that you know what is at Pearl Street, your next question might be why resumes are sent there?

Allow me to answer that!

These ads are run on websites and newspapers to comply with the Labor Certification Process for Green Cards to "prove" that there are no Americans that are qualified and/or willing to take the job. (Labor Certification isn't needed for H-1B, L-1, or H-2B visas since employers don't have to prove anything to hire them.)

The process begins when resumes are received by the DOLETA office (in this case on Pearl Street in Dallas). They assign a case ID number that is based on the job code. Resumes are then routed to the employer's immigration attorney by referencing the case ID. Usually it's the attorney who makes the determination as to whether the US worker is qualified, although sometimes it might be someone in the HR department like a trained human resources specialist. 

The DOL assumes that immigration attorneys who do these case reviews are "officers of the Court" who are honest and have integrity. (See my article Immigration Lawyer Indictments Expose H-1B Fraud) It's all done on an honor system. Employers who reject resumes from qualified Americans are rarely challenged about why they did so. And even if they are questioned, they are almost never stopped from doing so.

It's a very lucrative business for the attorneys and it's easy work—all they have to do is to stash the resumes in a reject pile, which then finds its way to a paper shredder or a trash bin.

Now that you know about the job ads let's follow a few easy steps to crack the job code.

1) The first thing to do is to find job ads with job codes. A couple of examples are provided below. The job code is usually near the end of the job description. By searching with Google, you will find no shortage of them, and you can bet that there are similar ads for the other ETA offices in the U.S. The easiest way to search for these sham ads is to search for the address of the ETA office. In the case of the Pearl Street office, the Google search is done for 700 North Pearl St., Suite 510, Dallas, TX.

2) All of these ads have a job code near the end of the description. In "Example 1" below the Halliburton ad has a job code of "D-05221-95808".

3) Once you have the code go to this DOLETA database search engine page to see the status of the Labor Certification.

4) Plug in the job code into the box called "labor code" and then click search—most of the time you can copy and paste the code. Be sure to have the code formatted as required or you won't get any results. You must have a "D-" in front of the number even if the ad doesn't include it.

5) In the case of Halliburton the results are as follows:

ETA Case Number:  D-05193-13293
Processing Type:  TR
Status:   IN PROCESS

The status is rather obvious—in this case it means the labor certification for a visa is "in process". If you are curious about the processing type, the best place to learn more is the Programmer's Guild page on RIRs.

While doing these code cracks it's very important to understand that running sham ads to reject qualified Americans is LEGAL. The DOL has no authority to stop this practice because of the loopholes in the law. So complaining about fraud will do no good until the laws are changed. The DOL functions as a rubber stamp which does nothing much more than to facilitate the ruse.

Sure, you can mail in a resume for one of those job ads. But if you are a U.S. citizen, you will be rejected. Actually, you will be rejected whoever you are—unless you are the alien who the employer has already chosen to hire.

Labor certification is a rigged game. And the losers are American workers. Usually the foreign worker is already on the payroll with an H-1B visa before the ads are run, so the job position is already filled (that's almost always the case if the processing type is RIR).

Either way the processing type doesn't matter, because the employer has no intention of hiring an American once they post the phony job ads. Running an ad is a mere formality to satisfy the loopholes in the law.

Hope all of you have some fun by doing lots of code cracking. Here are two examples of the ads.

Example #1 Hotjobs at Yahoo for Halliburton

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER II: HALLIBURTON

Location Houston, TX

Position Type Full-Time, Employee

Salary Unspecified

Experience 1-2 Years Experience

Date Posted July 22, 2007

Software Developer II. Develop software code for geophysical and geological interpretation applications on UNIX and Windows NT based platforms, using JAVA, C++ and Visual C++ programming languages along with COM technology, X-Motif, and standard development tools such as debuggers, profilers and graphical interface designers. Using knowledge of Raster Image file processing, develop graphics viewing applications. Implement the final design of products using domain experience in geology or geophysics. Requires a Master's degree in Computer Science and 2 yrs. exp. in the job offered or 2 yrs. related exp. in Software Development involved in development and maintenance of geoscience data interpretation software applications running in a combination of UNIX and Windows environments. 40 hours per week, 9AM to 6PM, M-F. Job Location: Houston, TX 77042. Salary $76,800 per year. Send resume by fax or mail to: Attention: D-05221-95808. 700 North Pearl St., Suite 510, Dallas, TX 75201. Fax: 214/237-9116. Reference Job Order Number 500477326. EOE.

Example #2 Career Builder from El Paso Times

Automotive Diesel Mechanic: $16.49/hr

Description

Automotive Diesel Mechanic: $16.49/hr. Work Schedule: 9:00a.m -5:00 p.m. Repairs and maintains diesel engines used to power tractors, trailers, and trucks using hand tools and knowledge of diesel mechanics. Diagnose trouble, disassemble engines, and replace defective parts. To test engine to assure proper re-pair. 2 yrs. exp. req. Must own standard and metric wrenches, ratchets, and sockets. Job located in El Paso, Texas. Resumes in response to this position must reference AJB# 500487852 and ETA# D-05116-74993. Resumes may be MAILED TO: 700 North Pearl St., Suite 510, Dallas, TX 75201 or FAXED TO: (214) 237-9116.

Source - El Paso Times - El Paso, TX

Be sure to document what you find by saving the web page. Phony job ads usually disappear from the internet as soon as the visa is approved.

Most importantly, get very angry. Tell your friends and family why you resent being cheated out of a job!

Rob Sanchez (email him) is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization and author of the "Job Destruction Newsletter" (sign up for it here) at www.JobDestruction.com. To make a tax-deductible donation to Rob Sanchez, click here.