An Iowa IT staffing company is being forced to do the apology dance in front of the media this week after they were busted placing an employment ad that basically told American citizens that they should look elsewhere for a job. American Technology Consulting posted the ad to the online recruiting site ZipRecruiter, looking for a java developer for a San Diego company.
In the ad, they said “H1B Only,” which refers to the guest worker program that allows highly-skilled individuals from other countries to live and work in the United States. After a round of harsh criticism, the company pulled the ad and changed it so that there were no references to the visa.
The company changed the ad and deleted reference to the H-1B visas, but critics said it likely violates the Civil Right Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of citizenship and national origin.
“It’s explicitly against the law,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “This isn’t some gray area. But it does tell you what this company is about.”
Krikorian, who retweeted a screen shot of the original ad on Friday, said it should attract the attention of the Department of Justice to see if the company is complying with employment laws.
“It doesn’t matter that the ad doesn’t say that anymore,” he said.
The company is using the oldest trick in the book and claiming that the H-1B language made it into the ad because of a third-party vendor. But who knows, maybe their excuse in genuine and they really didn’t mean to discriminate against American workers. When something like this happens, the important thing isn’t to rake the company over the coals but to expose a practice that thousands of other companies are actively involved in. And most of them aren’t as blatant about it as ATC.
The issue of worker visas has gotten short shrift in the debate over immigration, but as border crossings fall, it would make a nice “next step” in the fight for American workers. In all honesty, these visas probably do more harm to wages and employment rates among citizens than illegal border crossings in the first place. They have their place, but they have been abused by companies trying to maximize profits in one of the most unpatriotic ways imaginable short of overseas relocation. Under a president whose mantra is “American First,” it may be time for a serious crackdown on these unfair and limiting practices.