by Angelo Paparelli
, ABIL Immediate Past PresidentNation of Immigrators
As 1930s radio shows and 21st Century talk-radio shock jocks remind us, words -- perhaps even more than images -- carry evocative power, the power to incite passion. Fernando Lázaro Carreter
, the academician and guardian of Spanish (whose quote appears in the title of this post and in a slide deck
I published years back on immigration writing for lawyers), viewed words as the epidermis, at once opaque and translucent, that thinly veils the emotions of the speaker. Lázaro Carreter and other wordsmiths such as George Orwell
, William Safire
, Frank Luntz
and George Lakoff
all recognized the power of language, and its modern companion "messaging," to pierce the fragile skin of the public and likewise expose emotions. Two recent immigration-related events illustrate the language-induced unveiling of popular passions. The first involved Virgil Peck, a Republican state lawmaker in Kansas, and the second a newly-minted third-grade teacher in Georgia
. Were it not for the viral power of media, their ill-advised words might have been quarantined in a small pocket of each state. Instead, carried aloft by the winds of social media and the 24/7 news cycle, the contagion spread and popular emotions have now been unleashed.
Mr. Peck, wearing his heart too loosely on his sleeve
, unleashed on himself a pecking Twitterstorm from all directions, reminiscent of the phone-booth scene in Hitchock's The Birds
.Although he has since apologized
, outraged citizens now demand his resignation
for these ill-chosen comments
during an appropriation-committee discussion of the spread of wild swine
"It looks like to me if shooting these immigrating feral hogs works maybe we have found a [solution] to our illegal immigration problem." The teacher, on the job for about a year, may face discipline for using a lesson plan
by Christian writer and proponent of homeschooling, Brenda B. Covert
, lifted from an "educational" website, to teach third graders about "illegal aliens."
tells the allegory of an unwanted young boy, an interloper who hops a backyard fence to interrupt a play date involving Taylor, Sam and Buster, Sam's dog. Sam's mother, representing authority, makes the intruder leave. A quiz follows with six questions, the last two of which are: 5. What is a citizen?
A. a person who avoids cities
B. a person who lives in a city
C. a person who belongs to a country
D. a person who visits a country 6. What does the U.S. do with illegal aliens?
A. The U.S. puts them to work in the army.
B. The U.S. puts them to death.
C. The U.S. sends them back where they came from.
D. The U.S. shoots them into outer space.
Judging from the results of Newsweek
's recent quizzing of Americans on the questions in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' naturalization examination (38% failed
), the third-graders might be forgiven if they couldn't answer Question 5. (The 38% who flunked the naturalization exam would probably say that either 5.A or B. must be right, because, after all, "citizen" must have something to do with "cities.")
As for the last question (What does the U.S. do with illegal aliens?), I agree with 18-year-old Matt Trips
, a self-described "pianist, composer, humanist, anthropologist, [and] probably some other stuff too,"
who says in the MUST SEE video below, "[Question 6] is disturbing to me on so many levels." (I won't paraphrase Matt [although I note that the town in question is not Duluth, MN, as he says, but Duluth, GA.] His 11-minute analysis speaks volumes about all that is wrong with teaching impressionable kids to fear other human beings and what a lesson like this says about our society.)SEE VIDEO
Matt's pique is mirrored by COLORLINES
, a news daily that describes itself as "offering award-winning reporting, analysis, and solutions to today's racial justice issues." In keeping with COLORLINES
' Drop the 'i' [illegal] Word
campaign, writer Mónica Novoa rightly attacks EdHelper
, the site where the offensive lesson plan originated:
It’s outrageous that this website for educators provides such insidious anti-immigrant messages. As harmful as it is for children to indirectly imbibe hate speech through TV, media, etc., it is much more atrocious and harmful when that hate speech is being provided to them under the guise of education from a source they trust and possibly look up to.
The i-word opens the door to all kinds of messy interpretations, regardless of the form it takes. It teaches kids either that it’s ok to evoke violence against other human beings (whether in the form of a joke or a lesson plan) or to feel worthless if they are on the receiving end. While parents can prevent children from being exposed to racial slurs and hate-filled messages at home, it is also up to educators to ensure a safe learning environment. This is harmful to society as a whole, but especially to children who could be the target of i-word hate speech.
Had the Georgia teacher searched the web just a bit more, she would have found legitimate sources that offer an introduction to immigration and humanize immigrants, like the "Community Education Center
" and "Teaching Tolerance
Regrettably, however, the abuse of immigration language by public employees has occurred in the past. Older observers of the immigration scene will recall Harold Ezell
, then Regional Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, who was wont to refer to undocumented immigrants entering America from Mexico's Rio Grande River as "wets" (short for the pejorative "wetbacks") and to dub apprehended immigrants as "illegal aliens" who should be "caught, skinned and fried." Compassionate and inclusive political speech
-- a phrase I prefer over the maligned coinage, political correctness -- must frame the immigration debate of the future, as the astute philologists at the Opportunity Agenda
demonstrate. There can be no acquiescence with hate speech. Xenophobes and nativists must be called to the carpet. Now that the term "undocumented immigrant
" has entered the Supreme Court's sober lexicon, introduced by a "wise Latina," the time is surely upon us to recognize, once and for all, that no human being is illegal!
by Cyrus D. Mehta
, ABIL LawyerThe Insightful Immigration Blog
This week, while we have all been stunned at the way Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) sent a four year old US citizen child packing out of the country to Guatemala
, even though her parents lived in the US, we can take some comfort that the State Department scrupulously adheres to birthright citizenship enshrined in the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution.
Contrary to the common notion -that parents come to the US to give birth to children so that they may become US citizens - some non-US citizen parents do not desire that their minor children remain US citizens, notwithstanding their birth in the US. Their main motivation is that if they choose not to live in the US permanently, they would rather that the child enjoys the citizenship of their nationality so that he or she does not suffer any potential impediments later on in that country, such as the inability to vote, attend educational institutions or stand for elected office. Often times, the country of the parent’s nationality and the United States lay claims on the child’s citizenship, and this may often create conflicts between the citizenship laws of the two countries, particularly if the child will return to its parents’ country and live there.
For instance, a child born to Indian citizen parents in the US can still claim to be an Indian citizen by descent, even though India does not otherwise permit dual nationality, provided that the parents declare that the child does not hold the passport of another country, http://www.mha.nic.in/pdfs/ic_act55.pdf
. This may not be possible if the child is born in the US, and thus a US citizen and potentially an Indian citizen, since the State Department’s regulation provides that “[i[t is unlawful for a citizen of the United States, unless excepted under 22 CFR 53.2, to enter or depart, or attempt to enter or depart, the United States, without a valid passport.” See 22 CFR §53.1. Therefore, if the child obtains an Indian passport while in the US, it will still need to depart the US with a US passport, and this may conflict with the Indian requirement of submitting a declaration that the child does not hold the passport of another country.
Moreover, even after the child has left the US, unless the child can effectively renounce US citizenship at a US Consulate (and that too could be problematic as a child cannot make a knowing renunciation), the child will most likely have to return to the US on the US passport. Regarding the renunciation of US citizenship by a minor, the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual at 7 FAM 1292 clearly states that parents or guardians cannot renounce or relinquish the citizenship of a child who acquired US citizenship at birth. The relevant extract from 7 FAM 1292 is worth noting: a.
occasionally, CA/OCS or a post abroad will receive an inquiry from the parent of a child born in the United States who acquired US citizenship at birth protesting the “involuntary” acquisition of US citizenship.b.
Jus soli (the law of the soil) is the rule of common law under which the place of a person’s birth determines citizenship. In addition to common law, this principle is embodied in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the various U.S. citizenship and nationality statutes. The 14th Amendment states, in part, that: All persons born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. c.
In U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898), the U.S. Supreme Court examined at length the theories and legal precedents on which U.S. citizenship laws are based and, in particular, the types of persons who are subject to U.S. jurisdiction. d.
Children born in the United States to diplomats accredited to the United States are not subject to U.S. jurisdiction and do not acquire U.S. citizenship under the 14th Amendment or the laws derived from it [citation omitted].e.
Parents or guardians cannot renounce or relinquish the U.S. citizenship of a child who acquired U.S. citizenship at birth.
While the FAM leaves open the possibility for a minor to renounce citizenship, there must be a determination by the consul whether the minor had the requisite maturity and knowing intent, free from parental influence. According to 7 FAM 1292(i)(3), “Minors who seek to renounce citizenship often do so at the behest of or under pressure from one or more parent. If such pressure is so overwhelming as to negate the free will of the minor, it cannot be said that the statutory act of expatriation was committed voluntarily. The younger the minor is at the time of renunciation, the more influence the parent is assumed to have.” 7 FAM 1292(i)(2) further states, “Children under 16 are presumed not to have the requisite maturity and knowing intent.” It should be noted, though, that even if a child successfully renounces US citizenship, upon reaching 18 years, the child has a six-month opportunity to reclaim US nationality. See INA § 351(b).
The deportation of the 4 year old child is one recent example. CBP’s sister agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has also been notorious for detaining and deporting US citizens in recent times
, despite an ICE memo
admonishing its officers to treat claims by US citizens with care and sensitivity. In a time when a very vocal minority is advocating for the repeal of birthright citizenship
, government agencies in charge of enforcing immigration laws ought not to be swayed by the passions of the day, and must scrupulously ensure that a child born in the US, regardless of the parents' status, is treated as a US citizen under the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, like the State Department does.
by Charles Kuck
, ABIL PresidentMusings on Immigration
We all read that the Arizona legislature has had its fill
of anti-immigrant legislation, backing off passing any of the unconstitutional, anti-immigrant legislation proposed by immigrant basher-in-chief State Senator Russell Pearce. Now Kansas, home to the author of all of this anti-immigrant legislation, Kris Kobach, is the latest state to "just say no" to immigrant bashing legislation
. We know why the Arizona legislature decided to not enact their most recent proposals--the Arizona economy has been devastated by SB 1070 passed last year, and the business community finally had enough
--hand delivering a letter to each state legislator saying to stop the immigrant bashing. In Kansas, a coalition of forces, including business leaders, community leaders, law professors, and religious leaders joined forces to point out ALL of the legitimate reasons why anti-immigrant legislation was tabled this week. The Kansas Business Coalition
, lead by AILA member Allie Devine, is a group of twenty trade groups that was committed to defeating the bill. AILA members Angela Ferguson and Anthony Weigel,volunteered to help the Coalition with legal research, general immigration information, and background on other state’s efforts. AILA members also worked closely with Immigrant and Civil Rights Interest Groups to coordinate resources and key legislative contacts. As Anthony Weigel, an AILA member and vocal opponent of this legislation noted:
There were three valid reasons for the bill’s failure. First, proponents failed to provide a financial impact estimate worth considering. Kentucky, a comparable state, estimated a net cost of $40 million for a similar bill. Second, succinct and persuasive evidence was presented by a UMKC law professor that the bill involved an incredibly unsettled area of the law, federal preemption, and the risk and costs of litigation could be avoided by not proceeding with the bill at this time. And third, as stated by the Kansas Business Coalition, if simple solutions existed, we wouldn’t have today’s problems. Kansas has now joined Colorado
and even Arizona in tabling these anti-immigration provisions. Kentucky has put the cost of its Arizona style bill (which is much like Georgias) at least at $40 million (and perhaps as much as $90 million dollars)
! Look for that bill to die a quick death shortly. Georgia legislators should take a clue from all of the national movement AGAINST state based anti-immigrant legislation by their colleagues in other legislators. In Georgia, united groups in the business community, religious leaders, legal scholars and lawyers, as well as community groups from throughout the political spectrum oppose HB 87 and SB 40. Governor Deal has noted his concern with this legislation. How can Georgia legislators continue to push for a bill that will create more problems then it can hope to cure? And that they know will cost the state a fortune to enact and defend in court?We already know that the Georgia House sponsors of HB 87 are incapable of giving the legal reasons why their legislation is not unconstitional, and that they refuse to discuss the real and quite savage economic impact of this bill on the Georgia economy should it pass. So, why is this bill moving forward? We still need the business community, through the Chambers of Commerce, to speak out publicly, vocally and loudly and demand a stop to this nonsense. While it is clear that business prefers to work quietly and behind the scenes with state legislators, it is also clear from what has happened in Arizona and Kansas that unless the business community starts getting VOCAL about their opposition to these bills (and not just because E-Verify is burdensome), then the march to litigation will proceed (I say this because if Georgia passes any anti-immigrant legislation lawsuits will be filed against their enforcement on preemption and constitutional grounds.)Let's take the lessons learned in Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Kentucky, and Kansas. Let's work together as businesses, faith based organizations, community supported advocacy groups, and people who know and love immigrants for who they are--good people who make America stronger and better. Georgia is better than HB 87 and SB 40. Broken immigration laws do not mean Broken People.
by Angelo Paparelli
, ABIL Immediate Past PresidentNation of Immigrators
Few observers predicted the profundity of global political changes in the first quarter of 2011.
The Middle East, still the source of most of the world's energy, has witnessed civilian protestors toppling despots and prompting autocrats to invite foreign-state and mercenary armies to quell peaceful demonstrations and slaughter citizens. Libya's never-predictable Muammar el-Qaddafi, having nearly routed indigenous rebels centered around Benghazi, faces a UN-authorized no-fly zone and aerial attacks mounted at the behest of the Arab League
, an organization now critical of air assaults that may provoke a full-blown war.
Japan, no longer the world's second largest economy, is shaken by a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that caused the deaths of probably 10,000 or more citizens and devastated the northeastern countryside. The resulting radiation fallout from severely damaged nuclear plants now contaminates the food supply and threatens public health. The devastation has also rocked the nuclear energy industry and called into question whether fission power will replace fossil fuels anytime soon.
With these events capturing public attention, President Obama is in Brazil, the worlds seventh-largest economy, the global leader in sustainable bio-fuels and ninth-largest oil producer with huge off-shore reserves. The President hopes to return home with business deals that produce American jobs and secure access to less volatile sources of energy. Whether or not he succeeds on this trip, he could not have failed to hear the sharp criticism leveled against American policy by Brazil's President, Dilma Rousseff, who chided the U.S. for its past "empty rhetoric." As The New York Times
reported, a "deeper relationship [with Brazil]," she said, must "be a construct amongst equals."
The two presidents failed, however, to reach an agreement that would allow Brazilians to enter the U.S. as business visitors or tourists under the Visa Waiver Permanent Program. Nor did President Obama endorse Brazil's call for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, although on his state visit to India -- according to the NYT
-- he "lent support to that country’s hopes for a permanent seat."
In this world of ever-erupting turbulence, a functioning immigration system would serve to promote America's foreign policy and economic interests, while honoring its tradition as a nation hospitable to hard-working immigrants. Beyond securing the border against terrorists, criminals and ne'er-do-wells, an efficient and effectual immigration system would encourage investment, innovation and job-creation
. It would provide orderly systems for family reunification and refuge for the persecuted. It would also bear marks of humility and wisdom, recognizing that our diversity is our greatest strength and that our actions abroad often stoke the push factors propelling and compelling people to breach our borders.
The present immigration system in the U.S. merely pays lip service to these objectives while suffering from malign neglect and willful meanspiritedness. Despite a 1986 federal law prohibiting employers from hiring workers whom they know or should know lack the legal right to work, the agencies charged with enforcement have yet to agree on the definition of "employment." Notwithstanding a 1996 law punishing illegal overstays, these same agencies continue to split hairs over the distinction between violation of nonimmigrant "status" and "unlawful presence," have yet to publish a rule defining what it even means to "maintain [legal] status," and still assert that a foreign citizen can be work-authorized yet have no immigration status
Most of us in this nation of immigrators bewail the system but do little to insist on adult conversations among lawmakers that might lead to pragmatic and humane solutions. In a time of focus on deficit reduction, we want more border security but would never tolerate a tax increase to pay for it
Yet the candle-lighters among us, who'd rather not just curse the darkness, see a few glimmers, of luminosity. Business leaders
in Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Florida, Kansas, Oklahoma
and, yes, even Arizona
, have beaten back efforts to make state immigration laws still more draconian. A leading labor union blasts the Administration's senseless and expensive immigration enforcement policy
, while the Organization of American States
faults us for inhumane immigrant detention practices. A Tea Party leader -- Dick Armey
-- says that if necessary to care for his babies he would break the law, ironically, on essentially the same grounds that spur unauthorized migrants to cross the border looking for work. Hispanic members of the GOP propose a comprehensive and largely workable 12-point plan
for immigration reform. Mainstream reporters such as NBCs Tom Brokaw
are beginning to focus attention on America's brain drain -- the loss of talented foreign workers who've become so fed up
with the quota backlogs
, visa-screening delays and hassles on reentry to the U.S. that they take the education we provided them and leave to compete with the U.S. from their native lands. A new Start-Up Visa bill
has emerged (but not as user-friendly as the U.K.'s
) to woo foreign investors.
Although movement on immigration reform in Utah is heartening, the country cannot have the states enacting 50 versions of foreign policy or an equal number of immigration codes
. Only the federal government is positioned to steer a unified course on immigration. We can start by asking why the prosperous and rapidly growing BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are shut out from the E-2 treaty-based
nonimmigrant visa category. This entrepreneurial visa allows foreign investors from select treaty countries
to start U.S. businesses quickly with whatever minimum amount of capital would ordinarily be sufficient to begin operations and start hiring, rather than invest the minimum $500,000 and create the ten jobs needed for the investor green card, the EB-5, with its costly tax consequences as the added price for permanent residency.
America has waited too long to revamp its immigration laws. The usual three pillars of comprehensive reform (border security, worksite enforcement and legalization for the unauthorized in our midst) are not enough to make America globally competitive and enticing. How many more whirlwinds of global change must jostle and buffet us before our leaders in Washington realize that we are falling from our perch as top dog? Economic prosperity and job creation
must be our prime immigration policy, with pragmatism and humane treatment closely in tow. The sane voices must grow louder and more insistent. Outspoken business and union leaders, and one Tea Party icon, coupled with contrary-to-type Hispanic conservatives, and constant prodding from new economic powerhouses abroad -- all are a promising start.
by Cora-Ann Pestaina
, Associate with ABIL member, Cyrus D. MehtaThe Insightful Immigration Blog
As the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) continues to pump out decision after decision, it can be difficult to find time to review each case. But I am constantly being reminded that reviewing that one BALCA decision could truly mean the difference between approval and denial. I recently came across the BALCA decision in CCG Metamedia, Inc.,
2010-PER-00236 (Mar. 2, 2011) and it raised some red flags with regard to previous recruitment practices that have not faced objection from the DOL. As a background, an employer has to conduct a good faith recruitment of the labor market in order to obtain labor certification for a foreign national employee. Obtaining labor certification is often the first step when an employer wishes to sponsor a foreign national employee for permanent residence.In CCG Metamedia,
the employer filed an Application for Permanent Employment Certification (ETA Form 9089) for the position of “Technical Design Director” indicating that the job opportunity required 2 years of experience. In response to an Audit Notification, the employer submitted evidence of recruitment, which indicated that the employer had placed advertisements in a newspaper of general circulation, a local newspaper and on the employer’s website stating that the job opportunity requires “2-4 years of experience.” The Certifying Officer (CO) denied certification on grounds, which included that these advertisements contained experience requirements in excess of those listed on the employer’s PERM application.
The employer filed a Request for Reconsideration arguing that the “Technical Design Director” position indeed requires “2-4 years of experience” but that the ETA Form 9089 requires the employer to list a whole number and does not provide space to list a range of experience, thus forcing the employer to indicate only 2 years of experience. The employer also relied on Federal Insurance Co.
, 2008-PER-00037 (Feb. 20, 2009). In Federal Insurance
, the fact that certain mandatory language pertaining to an alternative requirement under Matter of Francis Kellogg,
1994-INA-465 (Feb. 2, 1998) (en banc),did not appear on the ETA Form 9089 was not fatal as there is no space on the Form for such language. BALCA held that a denial in that instance would offend fundamental fairness and due process. The employer in CCG Metamedia
argued similarly that because the ETA Form 9089 does not accommodate its ability to express the requirement of 2-4 years minimum experience, it would “offend fundamental due process to deny the PERM application for failure to write the attestation on the ETA Form 9089.”
In forwarding the case to BALCA, the CO asserted, in a letter of reconsideration included in the Appeal File, that the employer’s advertisements did not represent the actual minimum requirements as required under 20 C.F.R. §656.17(i)(1). The CO argued that the employer’s requirement of “2-4 years of experience” communicated to the job applicant “a preference” that he or she possess more than 2 years of experience in order to qualify for the position and thus may have discouraged applications from US workers who met the minimum requirements (i.e. 2 years of experience). The CO further argued, citing The Frenchway Inc
., 2005-INA-451, slip op. at 4 (Dec. 8, 1997), that BALCA has held that “employer preferences are actually job requirements.” The CO dismissed the employer’s arguments with regard to the ETA Form 9089 simply stating that the case was not about the shortcomings in the ETA Form 9089.
BALCA affirmed the CO’s denial of the case and held that “stating a range of experience in the recruiting materials that goes above the minimum experience requirements stated in the application inflates the job requirements in the job advertisements and does not accurately reflect the employer’s attestations on the ETA Form 9089.”
BALCA cited the regulations at 20 C.F.R. §656.17(f)(6), which require that a newspaper advertisement “[n]ot contain any job requirements or duties which exceed the job requirements or duties listed on the ETA Form 9089” and held that the employer was in violation of the regulations. BALCA agreed with the CO that this case was not about the shortcomings in the ETA Form 9089 but instead, was about the fact that the employer did not conduct an adequate test of the labor market because minimally qualified US applicants were discouraged from applying for the position. BALCA distinguished this case from Federal Insurance
where the employer did not know how
to comply with the requirement that Kellogg
language be included on the ETA Form 9089 and stated that unlike Federal Insurance
, in CCG Metamedia,
the Form specifically requested the number of months of experience required for the job opportunity and this must be a discrete number, and not a range, because of the fact that the employer must state its actual minimum requirements.
After reading CCG Metamedia,
one wonders whether this was correctly decided. The employer argued that its requirement for the job opportunity was indeed “2-4 years of experience” and that it was simply forced to indicate 2 years on the ETA Form 9089. But isn’t it implicit in a requirement of “2-4 years of experience” that the employer’s minimum requirement is 2 years of experience thus making the requirement listed on the recruitment and the ETA 9089 entirely consistent? The employer will clearly accept, at a minimum
, 2 years of experience and a person with any level of experience upwards of 2 years (i.e. 2.5, 3 or 4 years) in the relevant area could potentially qualify for the position. The CO and BALCA claim that US workers could have been discouraged from applying for the position because the requirements indicated a “preference” that the job applicants have more than 2 years of experience. But how is this “preference” indicated? How can “[from] 2 [to] 4” be interpreted to mean “more than 2” such that a US worker would be discouraged from applying for the position? The CO and BALCA cited The Frenchway, Inc.
’s for its holding that employer “preferences” are indeed requirements. But I would argue that the facts of CCG Metamedia
are entirely distinguishable from those of The Frenchway, Inc.
where the employer listed its preferences for a foreign language and European contacts. Clearly, a US worker with no foreign language skills and no European contacts could have been discouraged from applying for the position. On the contrary, based on the facts in CCG Metamedia
, a US worker with 2 years of experience ought to have considered himself qualified based on the requirement of “2-4 years of experience.” CCG Metamedia
likely seems to imply that employers can no longer advertise seeking “2+” or “5+” years of experience as requiring applicants to have the minimum experience or more would also be perceived as a “preference, ” which will discourage applicants possessing the minimum experience from applying for the position. This would be absurd, but in labor certification land, an employer should now advertise asking for the exact years of experience for the position after CCG Metamedia
. Two other recruitment scenarios immediately come to mind.
Take the case of a big corporation, recruiting for professional positions, which places an omnibus advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation indicating that it is “seeking individuals with Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees and relevant experience for the following positions”
and lists all the positions, e.g. Software Engineer, Lead Technical Consultant, etc. including a brief description of the job duties for each position. All other requirements under 20 C.F.R. §656.17(f) are met. All additional professional recruitment contains the job requirements specific to each job opportunity, such as “Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or a related field and 5 years of experience in the offered position or in a position performing similar duties.”
In addition, the ETA Form 9089 filed for each particular position indicates the specific job requirements for that position. In light of the holding in CCG Metamedia
, will the DOL now deny these PERMs on the basis that the newspaper advertisements violated 20 C.F.R. §656.17(f)(6) and indicated an impermissible range (Bachelors or Master’s degree) which discouraged US workers from applying for the job opportunities?
I would argue that the ‘either/or’ requirement indicated in “a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree and relevant experience” is not a “range.” Thus, the potential applicant cannot reasonably be confused into thinking that a position requires a Master’s degree when in actuality the employer requires only a Bachelor’s degree. Furthermore, because the ad only states “and relevant experience” it cannot be argued that US workers were discouraged from applying for any of the positions due to a perceived lack of sufficient experience. A US worker with either a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree and even less than one year of experience should feel encouraged to apply based on the requirements listed in the newspaper advertisement. Since the employer is essentially casting a wider net, it ought to be difficult for the DOL to assert that an adequate test of the labor market was not conducted.
In another scenario, an employer is conducting recruitment for a professional position that requires a Master’s degree in Chemistry and no experience and wants to recruit using a university’s campus placement office as one of the three additional recruitment steps for professional occupations required under 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(e)(1)(ii). The university’s website allows the employer to place its advertisement but requires that certain fields be filled, e.g. job location, job status (full-time or part-time), writing sample required (yes or no), etc. One of the fields asks “experience required?” and forces the employer to pick from a list of choices limited to “0-2 years”, “3-5 years” or “over 5 years.” Based on the holding in CCG Metamedia
, if the employer chooses “0-2 years” for this advertisement and then indicates on the ETA Form 9089 that the position requires no experience, the employer will have listed job requirements in excess of the requirements listed on the ETA Form 9089 in violation of 20 C.F.R. §656.17(f)(6). (Recall that in Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC
, 2010-PER-00103 (BALCA Oct. 19, 2010) BALCA held that the advertising requirements listed in 20 C.F.R. §656.17(f) for advertisements placed in newspapers of general circulation or in professional journals also apply to website advertisements.) But what if it is not feasible for the employer to conduct a different type of recruitment or to choose a different university’s campus placement office? The employer may be able to protect itself against a CCG Metamedia
type denial by indicating in the job description that the job opportunity requires a “Master’s degree in Chemistry and NO EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED
.” It would be difficult for the DOL to argue that US workers with no experience were discouraged from applying for this position.
I was recently confronted with a scenario similar to scenario No. 2 above and based on CCG Metamedia
I suggested that new recruitment be conducted. I am reminded that regardless of previous success utilizing a particular method or type of recruitment, we cannot afford to become comfortable with the ever-changing PERM process and that these BALCA decisions provide invaluable insight into continuing to avoid the pitfalls of PERM. For a detailed overview of recent BALCA decisions that provide practice pointers, see Cyrus D. Mehta’s article, ANALYSIS OF SELECTED RECENT BALCA DECISIONS AS PRACTICE POINTERS TO AVOID PERM DENIALS