said it has been cooperating with the Justice Department.
“While we dispute the allegations in the complaint, we cannot comment further on pending litigation,” the company said in a statement.
Ron Hira, an associate professor Howard University who’s done extensive research on H-1B visa issues, said Trump is cracking down on visa abuse more aggressively than the Obama administration did. “Those who have been tracking it have been disappointed that he didn’t do it quicker,” he said.
Hira noted a statistic in the government’s complaint that the Facebook
positions at issue typically drew zero or one U.S. applicants, while comparable jobs advertised on its careers website got 100 or more applications.
“U.S. workers want these jobs,” he said. “The fact there’s only one or zero applications would be pretty shocking.”
Instead of suing Facebook in federal court, the Justice Department lodged a complaint with its own Executive Office of Immigration Review, where it will be reviewed by an administrative law judge. The director of the office is appointed by the U.S. attorney general.
The case is part of a 2017 initiative by the department targeting companies
that discriminate against U.S. workers, according to the department’s statement. The department has reached settlements totaling more than $1.2 million with about 10 employers, including a Florida strawberry farm, a Texas bus company, a California IT staffing firm and a Colorado agricultural products supplier.
Facebook, one of dozens of tech companies
that lined up in court against Trump’s visa restrictions, stands out as much bigger than the typical targets of enforcement actions under the Justice Department’s Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative.
“Facebook engaged in intentional and widespread violations of the law, by setting aside positions for temporary visa holders instead of considering interested and qualified U.S. workers,” Assistant Attorney General Eric S. Dreiband said in the statement.
The Justice Department seeks an order compelling Facebook to change its practices as well as civil penalties plus back pay, including interest, for workers who were discriminated against, according to the complaint.
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