From Norm Matloff’s H-1B/L-1/offshoring e-newsletter.
Norm Matloff writes:
Recall, though, that an interesting aspect of the case is that American network specialist David Huber says he unwittingly stumbled onto Fragomen's actions when responding to a newspaper ad for a position with Cisco Systems. I now have noticed a very significant anomaly in that ad, as follows.
Cisco Systems, Inc. is accepting resumes for the position of Network Consulting Engineer (Ref.# CHM) in Chicago, IL. Please mail resumes with reference number to Cisco Systems, Inc., Attn.: meclarke, 170 W. Tasman Drive, Mail Stop: SJC 5/1/4, San Jose, CA 95134. No phone calls please. Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S. without sponsorship. EOE.
Again, recall that Huber tracked down "meclarke," and found her to be Megan Clarke, an employee NOT of Cisco but rather of the Fragomen immigration law firm. Fragomen later confirmed this publicly (see here.).
Now note that last statement in the ad, "Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S. without sponsorship." I must sheepishly admit that in the past, even I had been deceived by such a statement, thinking to myself "Ah, here is a rare example of a responsible employer." But of course if Cisco had really meant that the position was only open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, it would not have needed to route CVs through Fragomen, now would it?
The reason I had been fooled before was that I had naively assumed that the references to contact people in the ads had been legitimate. So, Huber's connection of "meclarke" to Fragomen is again a breakthrough.
In other words, "Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S..." apparently was a fake statement in a fake ad. What the statement seems to have really meant was, "Don't submit a CV if you are not American, because we're gathering CVs to show DOL that we made a good-faith effort to hire an American before turning to hiring a foreign worker." What are the implications?
1. I've said before that I believe that Fragomen was merely exploiting loopholes in the law (which I am constantly pointing out is the central problem with the hiring of foreign tech workers, rather than the problem being lack of enforcement of the law). I doubt that Fragomen did anything illegal, including in the statement I highlighted above. (The ad did not actually say that the job was closed to foreign workers.) But that misleading "Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S..." statement in the Cisco ad certainly means further embarrassment for Fragomen in its DOL audit, currently in progress, and hopefully provides further education for Congress on this subject.
2. This provides yet another example of the fact that, contrary to the industry lobbyists' claim that most abuse of the H-1B and green card laws is by Indian body shops, the abuse pervades the entire industry, including big household-name firms such as Cisco.
3. Sometimes the industry lobbyists have pointed to such statements in job ads ("Must be legally authorized to work in the U.S...") as "evidence" that employers really are turning to hiring foreign workers only as a last resort. This Cisco example will now serve as a reason to view such statements very skeptically.
Once again I must invoke Sen. Grassley's insightful remark that "Nobody should be fooled" by the industry lobbyists' claims on H-1B and employer-sponsored green cards.