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Illinois colleges accused of ‘conspiracy’ to favor foreign workers


Alleged ‘conspiracy’ favors foreigners over American citizens, according to an attorney representing U.S. tech workers

Three Illinois colleges are among dozens of employers accused of a “conspiracy” to favor foreigners over American citizens, according to an attorney who is representing U.S. tech workers.

The University of Chicago, the Discovery Partners Institute at the University of Illinois, and the Illinois Institute of Technology, along with dozens of other employers, engaged in a “conspiracy” against American workers, attorney John Miano told The College Fix via email in early August.

He said the “total penalties could be huge.”

Miano said he hopes “such financial penalties will finally teach employers the lesson that they are not going to get away with discrimination against American workers.”

The attorney filed a Department of Justice employment discrimination claim in June on behalf of a group called U.S. Tech Workers.

The complaint alleged the parties operated “an unlawful scheme of recruitment based upon immigration status.”

Asked about the allegations, Steve Witmer, assistant director of media relations with University of Illinois System, which oversees Discovery Partners Institute, told The College Fix they do not comment on pending claims.

The College Fix also reached out to media staff at the University of Chicago and the Illinois Institute of Technology via email for comment about the allegations this month, but neither responded.

The claim alleged recruitment agencies “specifically solicited foreign H-1B visa holders” for tech jobs with the universities and other employers, according to a news release from the Institute for Sound Public Policy, which is affiliated with the tech workers group.

The agencies “offer coaching on how to obtain an H-1B visa and how to transition smoothly between jobs,” making it “even easier for their client companies to discriminate against American workers and prioritize foreigners,” the institute stated.

The charge also alleged the employers began “collectively operating” under the coalition Chicago H-1B Connect to illegally recruit workers based on their immigration status.

Through the coalition, the complaint alleged its recruitment efforts specifically targeted workers with H-1B visas through the foreign worker recruitment website TechChicago, social media, news releases and interviews with prominent news outlets.

“Chicago business leaders are uniting to assist current H-1B visa holders impacted by recent layoffs in the tech industry across the U.S.,” the TechChicago website stated.

The Fix contacted TechChicago via email on Aug. 9 for comment about the allegations, but did not receive a response.

Miano told The College Fix they hope the employers will face boycotts as well as financial penalties for discriminating against American workers.

“Maybe some of these companies will get the Bud Light treatment once their customers find out about their low regard for Americans,” he said.

Miano says Biden policies harmed ‘modest’ improvement by Trump 

Asked how the Biden administration’s immigration policies and decisions have affected American tech workers, Miano told The Fix the Biden administration “has put a halt to the modest positive steps the Trump administration [began] to implement. The real problem is Congress.”

He blamed Congress for making it “explicitly legal” to replace Americans with “cheap foreign workers” through H-1B visas, adding, “Congress enacted the limitations on enforcement that allow abuse to go on with impunity.”

President Biden’s administration has proposed other changes to the STEM visa rules, which an expert previously told The Fix would harm American workers.

The “STEM Designated Degree Program List” now includes “Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Research Methodology and Quantitative Methods” among other additions, as previously reported by The Fix.

The STEM list is absurdly broad, allowing more foreign graduates to obtain 3-year work permits,” Robert Law with the Center for Immigration Studies previously told The Fix. “There is no shortage of Americans with STEM degrees and many of the majors on this list make a mockery of what STEM is supposed to be about, namely the hard sciences.”

Editor’s note: This article was amended to clarify a comment from the University of Illinois System.

MORE: ‘U.S.-born workers’ without college degrees benefit from low immigration

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Nicholas Kelley is a seminary track student at Boyce College and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to his studies Nicholas volunteers at the theology and music departments of his church.