Writing in an op-ed published in The Daily Caller, Amsterdam & Partners LLP founder Robert Amsterdam argues that the efforts to crack down on the abuses of the H-1B visa program must look beyond just large staffing organizations and the tech industry. It may surprise people to know that as recently as 2004, it was an obscure charter school in Texas that filed for more H-1B visas than Google for that year.
Under section 101(a)(17)(H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, this visa program was established to temporarily allow foreign workers with much needed skills in highly specialized fields of knowledge, with the intention that this program would not be abused in a way that would take away jobs from eligible American workers. But clearly this has not been the case.
Harmony Public Schools in Texas, which is part of a nationwide network of charter schools linked to the Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen, has allegedly used this visa program to not only bring over thousands of teachers from Turkey, but also to fulfill jobs that are much less “specialized,” ranging from gym teachers to accountants to financial managers. With up to 170 Gülen-linked schools operating across the United States, they have become one of the largest sources of abuse of the program.