Green Card process benefits no one but the lawyers

By | November 28, 2007

I’m sitting in a meeting right now discussing Green Card labor certification, which is the first step in the process to get one of the people who works for me his Green Card. I am having the same reaction today that I had the last time I want through this…

The Green Card process seems intentionally designed to encourage employers to game the system. It is an entirely unrealistic process, in which what employers are ostensibly doing is actually completely different from what they are actually doing. The only people who benefit from the process are the lawyers who guide employers through it.

We have to write a job description for his job. The job description needs to match the skills he had when he was hired two years ago, and cannot include any skills he has acquired or responsibilities that have been added in the last two years (unless we are willing to make the argument that he has been promoted since being hired and/or his current duties are more than 50% different from what he was hired for). Then we have to advertise the job for at least 30 days, running it at least twice in the newspaper and in three other forms as well. The goal of this process is to prove that there are no US citizens qualified for his job, which is plainly and obviously stupid. What really ends up happening is bending over backwards to craft an absurdly detailed job description which no one can fill except the person we’ve already got.

Anyone who takes the time to respond to one of our ads thinks that we’re actually trying to find qualified candidates, but in fact what we’re trying to do is not find qualified candidates, which means that we are by definition being deceptive with candidates and wasting their time.

If anyone applies who can’t be disqualified based on their resume, then we have to do a phone screen. If we still can’t tell whether they’re qualified after the phone screen, then we have to bring them in for our standard interview process, which is quite time-consuming both for us and for the candidate. And if they still seem qualified after the interview, then we have to hire them, and we can’t get a Green Card for our existing employee. Yes, that’s right, if we manage to find and hire a qualified candidate during this process, then we have failed in what we were trying to accomplish.

We can’t tell any of the people participating in the interview process that it’s a sham. We have to somehow make them believe that we’re really trying to hire someone to do the job that the guy we already have is already doing. If they figure out what’s going on and somehow let it slip to a candidate, then the candidate could file a complaint with the Department of Labor that we weren’t honestly trying to fill the position, and we could end up in a heap of trouble.

Stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Lies, deception, and wasted time and money. All to “prove” that someone who has been contributing significant value to the company for years, and for whom we are willing to spend thousands of dollars in legal fees and application fees so he can keep working for us, is someone who is worthy of becoming a US citizen.

The Democrats should want to fix this because letting pursue the American dream and find a better life here is just the kind of thing that they should be gung ho about. The Republicans should want to fix this because letting the global, free-market economy determine who would make a good citizen is just the kind of thing that they should be gung ho about. Why the system has remained in place, essentially unchanged, for so many years is completely inexplicable.

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