U.S. to Hit Infosys With Record Immigration Fine

"The federal government is set to slap Infosys Ltd. with the largest immigration fine ever, claiming the Indian outsourcing giant illegally placed workers on visitor, rather than work, visas at big corporate clients across the U.S.

The government is expected to announce Wednesday it will fine Infosys about $35 million, according to people close to the matter. An investigation by the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department found that the Indian company used inexpensive, easy-to-obtain B-1 visas meant to cover short business visits—instead of harder-to-get H-1B work visas—to bring an unknown number of its employees for long-term stays, these people say.

The probe comes amid a debate over whether foreign workers, particularly in the software sector, are displacing qualified Americans because they are cheaper. The investigation spurred the government to say it intends to tighten regulations that critics say allow employers to abuse the immigration system.

"This complaint and large settlement should be a wake-up call to all employers that the government is serious about enforcing the H-1B visa regulations," said Stephen Yale-Loehr, a Cornell University immigration-law professor.

A media advisory issued by the Office of U.S. Attorney John M. Bales for the Eastern District of Texas said DHS and the State Department would on Wednesday "announce the settlement of systemic visa fraud and immigration abuse allegations with an international corporation."" - WSJ, Oct. 29, 2013.