Bush Admin. issues Thousands more H1B Visas than allowed by law!
CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight Aired 1/27/2007
DOBBS: The United States citizenship and immigration service finally released its report to Congress on the H1B guest worker visa program. But Congress still hasn't seen fit to release that report to the public, perhaps because the numbers are much higher than the government has authorized.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The number of H1B visas an existing guest worker program for skilled workers is capped by Congress at 65,000. Another 20,000 foreign students who graduate from American universities with advanced degrees are also eligible for the visa.
That's 85,000 visas a year. But the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service approved 116,927 applications in 2005. It approved 130,497 in 2004.
The reports in 2004 and 2005 were not released until November 20th of last year. A release date that activists find disturbing.
JOHN MIANO, ATTORNEY: I think it's odd that it occurred after the election. Somewhat suspicious that while there were bills pending to have an H1B increase, that the information about the actual numbers of H1B visas was not available.
TUCKER: A spokesman for USCIS admits the reports were late, but he calls the oversight "honest," explaining that in the transitions from INS to the Department of Homeland Security they neglected to file the reports.
"We notified the oversight by a member of Congress. They quickly produced the reports."
Some critics see a pattern.
RON HIRA, ROCHESTER INST. OF TECHNOLOGY: There's been a pattern by the administration to -- to keep, you know, this data that they don't particularly want out bottled up, and we've seen this with the Commerce Department offshoring report, and we've seen it in other areas like NASA (ph) and the like.
TUCKER: And there is intrigue. These reports were obtained by LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, not off a Congress Web site, not from the House Subcommittee on Immigration, but off the Internet, where activists are distributing them by e-mail.
TUCKER: The reports are real. USCIS acknowledges publishing the reports and giving them to Congress in late November. But USCIS says it's not their job to distribute the reports to the public, that's up to Congress.
And, you know, Lou, it may serve in the congressional interests to not make the report widely available to the public, because there are some disturbing facts in that report, and Congress is about to take up debate on doubling that program again sometime this next couple of months.
DOBBS: Well, if they are going -- permitting -- I mean -- I mean, it's just mind-boggling. The program is under such intense criticism.
DOBBS: Just allowing employers to go over by 40 percent over the quotas, more than that, in point of fact, 40 to 70 percent, without effect -- the USCIS does not explain why it's not enforcing it, doesn't have the information, and is holding information back. And now Congress as well?
TUCKER: It gets better, actually, Lou, because when you talk to USCIS, they say, "It's not our responsibility to issue the visas. That falls to the State Department. We just approve the petitions."
DOBBS: And the relationship, of course, between the petition and the -- I mean, this is -- if the American people have not figured out that there is a corporatist agenda at work in this administration and throughout the bureaucracy, then I don't know what more we could possibly report.
And this Congress, whether Democratically controlled or not, has an absolute responsibility to ask, why aren't immigration laws being enforced? Why aren't the laws passed by this Congress being enforced? And the American people need to ask why does neither Congress nor the executive branch fulfill their duties, their constitutional duties?
It is remarkable what is happening in this country. It is on the verge of tragic.