Audio of USCIS Hire American, Buy American Listening Session

This is the audio from the almost two hour long United States Citizenship & Immigration Services listening session. The session was chaired by the agency’s director, Francis Cissna. Early on we heard from Francis Cissna; Mary Thomas, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, DOJ; Molly Conway, Acting Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration, DOL; Keith Sonderling, Acting Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, DOL; and Michael Hoefer, Chief, Office of Performance and Quality, USCIS.

Following the speakers from the various government agencies, Professor Ron Hira kicked off the public comment with a presentation that was simply brilliant. The biggest take away for me was just how underpaid employment visa holders are due to their being paid a “prevailing” wage versus a “market” wage. Attorney Sarah Blackwell then spoke and gave a heart-wrenching statement as to the human toll caused by employment visa abuse.

Several others spoke but it was Hilarie Gamm who raised the roof with her stirring presentation. Twice she spoke and hit point after point regarding the devastation wreaked by programs such as OPT and H-1B; the impact on students, graduates just entering the workforce, and seasoned workers.