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H1-B Scammers Invent A University And GetAway With It For Years

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The extreme vulnerability of the migrant-screening
process was shown again recently in a federal case in
which con artists were able — for years — to procure
dozens of H-1B visas for teachers’ jobs at a totally
nonexistent university and reap a small fortune thereby.
Its name was “Adam University”, it said it had an
address in Denver, and it supposedly needed
instructors for its nursing school. The institution,
though it had a provisional paper clearance from
a Colorado state agency, had no campus, no
classes, no students, and thus no need for
Had any one of a dozen or so adjudicators handling the
H-1B applications at the Departments of Labor, State,
or Homeland Security spent one minute checking any
one of a score of Internet listings of universities or
nursing schools that official would not have found Adam
University and the whole scheme would have been
exposed from the beginning. No one did that.
There is, moreover, a genuine institution with more
than 3,000 students called Adams State University in
Alamosa, Colo.; that may have confused some of the
My impression, from reading news accounts1 and many
of the literally hundreds of federal court documents, is
that there were dozens of participants in the scheme —
both foreign nurses and their American employers —
who should have blown the whistle and did not do so for
years. The scheme was both audacious and widespread
and only the feds failed to notice it.
The con was also highly profitable, brilliant and, I must
say, in a perverse way, creative.
The eventual successful prosecution of the schemers is
a case study of the way that the government handles
such matters, i.e., slowly, apparently cautiously, and
clearly expensively.
Enforcing immigration law is neither cheap nor easy.
The Scheme. Here are the ingredients for the
con: 1) there are a large number of alien nurses,
particularly in the Philippines, who would love to
work in the United States; 2) health care
institutions are always looking for nurses,
particularly low-paid ones; 3) nurses cannot
secure nonimmigrant visas as nurses in the H1-B
program or in any other; 4) there are numerical
limits to most H-1B programs for skilled workers;
5) there are no such limits for aliens coming to
the United States to work for universities; and 6)
teachers of nursing are permitted to get H-1B
The conspirators put all those ingredients
together and sought, successfully, H-1B visas for
nurses to teach nursing at “Adam University”.
No one in the government noticed that the
university had a “faculty” of 25 aliens in its
nursing school — that’s a lot of foreign nursing
teachers for one institution.
When the new H-1Bs arrived in Denver they were
told by the conmen that were no teaching jobs
and they would work in long-term health
facilities (i.e., nursing homes) but at a much
lower wage than the $72,000 a year that had
been offered; and if they did not cooperate they
would be deported. Most cooperated.
Profits for the Conmen. The two main criminals in
the case figured out two different ways of
making money from the scheme. First, they
charged $6,800 or so to each alien for the H-1B
visa; such charges are contrary to the law; the
employer is supposed to pay all federal fees and
to charge the alien employee nothing. (The sum
of $6,800 is a large one in the Philippines, the
nurses’ families had to borrow the money, and so
the nurses came to the United States deeply in
debt and thus vulnerable to other exploitation.)
The Criminals and the Many Collaborators:
According to the indictments,2 the mastermind of the
scheme was Kizzy Kalu, a 48-year-old naturalized U.S.
citizen from Nigeria. Apparently a high-flyer, he was
also said to be the CEO of Global Energy Initiatives, a
generator producer for the third world, and the leader
of a charity in the volunteer tourism field. He got
himself invited to a conference in the Old Executive
Office Building adjacent to the White House and had his
picture taken near the latter structure, according to the
Daily Mai
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