Many schools that have a need for bilingual teachers sometimes look abroad for hiring purposes. Administrators in a Texas suburb hired dozens of teachers from various countries to help accommodate a more diverse Latino student population. After years of promises of securing the teachers’ permanent residency and certain pay, the teachers are now facing deportation
Program director made money off immigrants
Over the past ten years, the school district had filed a total of 642 H1-B work visa applications for teachers ensuring they would be granted legal permanent residency for six years. The H1-B visas are often used by organizations who sponsor foreign workers. A few years later, investigations have released information that twenty-three teachers were accepted by the school district which did not follow through on their part.
The Human Resources director of the school district is accused of exploiting the H1-B program to make money for himself. He would require the potential teachers to pay for interviews, training and then pay additional payments once they were hired. One the teachers were on board, he directed them to a rental house and an immigration attorney who were both family members. Furthermore, the Superintendent ignored complaints that resulted in back wages of over $225,000 to the foreign teachers.
Programs investigated for exploitation
According to ThinkProgress, that interviewed some of the teachers affected, they had about 290 students between four people they needed to teach. When they were hired, they were promised permanent residency sponsorship. Elizabeth Nino says, “…I had really good evaluations, but my [permanent] residency application was denied in 2011. We never had access to our information.
“The teachers were charged legal fees for filing paperwork which cost up to $3,000. Now, the investigators of the case are raising awareness to this type of exploitation that happens in various programs nationwide. The Labor Department has investigated over 17 similar cases since 2012. Immigrants are encouraged to consult with licensed immigration attorneys with questions regarding their immigration status and fully researching a program prior to signing documents.
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