security issues and subcontractinggreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Be interesting to see a list of private and public entities who contract with these companies. what happened to the finished jobs where the sub-contracted employees went back home? Can a list of ALL privatized contracts be made centrally available for Fed on down?
Updated: Saturday, Feb. 19, 2000 at 18:57 CST
INS pursues high-tech companies in alleged visa scam By The Associated Press SAN ANTONIO -- Immigration authorities have dropped deportation proceedings against 23 Indian computer programmers arrested during a raid at an Air Force base and instead will investigate the U.S. companies that hired them. The Immigration and Naturalzation Service planned to see if two Houston companies -- Softech Consulting Inc. and Frontier Consulting Inc. -- skirted federal rules requiring Labor Department approval to move the Indian nationals to Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio.
INS district director Kenneth Pasquarell told the San Antonio Express-News that the companies may have been involved in a type of visa fraud called "body shopping."
The practice occurs when firms tell the government they'll place highly skilled foreign workers in jobs that don't exist and then send them to other cities.
In this case, Pasquarell said the companies claimed the workers were in Houston and then later shifted them to San Antonio. The companies could not be reached for comment Saturday.
Agents arrested the 40 Indian contract computer programmers at the base last month after a six-month investigation of a visa scam.
The workers had been assigned to teams charged with developing two computer systems at the Air Force Personnel Center. Base officials said they did not have security clearances.
Fifteen workers were released on their own recognizance pending further investigation, while 23 were awaiting deportation hearings.
Joe De Mott, an attorney representing the programers, was confident the Indians now would be free to stay and work in the U.S.
"I'd say they're pretty much out of the woods," he said. "The focus has shifted now from the workers to the companies, and whether or not the companies are in compliance with all requirements, and I think we can show they are."
But letters written by Pasquarell this week advised the Indians that they could be given "a period of time in which to depart the United States" or possibly face deportation if their employers' visa petitions were revoked by INS.
Pasquarell said criticism after the arrests, which included comments by Indian Ambassador Nares Chandra, and widespread publicity in the United States and abroad, was not a factor in the decision to drop the deportation proceedings.
"I would imagine that someone looked it over and said it would be a much better route to take to do the (companies' visa) petition than to go after an individual, case-by-case basis," he said.
Distributed by The Associated Press (AP)
-- another government hack (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 20, 2000