Category Archives: Editorial

Infosys. Is it a Sea of Change for Businesses?

On October 30, 2013, Infosys, the Indian multinational provider of business consulting, information technology, software engineering and outsourcing services, agreed to pay $34 million in fines for I-9 violations. What makes this remarkable is the detailed 13-page settlement agreement that lays out in excruciating detail the company’s long use of B-1 visa holders to supplement their work force.

The federal investigation was instigated by private civil lawsuit, which had been filed by a former manager who was alleging discrimination and breach of contract. That manager, Jay Palmer, alleged that he was retaliated against when he questioned the firm’s potential violations of U.S. immigration laws.

Infosys was using engineers who were B-1 visa holders to enter the U.S. and write code and do other “work” that the DHS held was not allowed under that visa class. Evidence included detailed statements and internal Infosys documents that coached those engineers on what to say when entering the U.S. Infosys, has not admitted to any wrong doing and settled only to avoid protracted litigation.

This raises the question that if the evidence of those violations was so strong, why was the settlement only for I-9 violations? That answer lies in the complex nature of immigration law. Consider this statement in the Wall Street Journal by the lead government prosecutor, Shamoil Shipchandler:

“It’s not 100% clear what someone who holds a B-1 visa can actually do,” he said. For example, placing someone within a company for six months to do in-house tech support is an improper use of a B-1 visa. But if a consultant helps refine software during a meeting with a client, as part of a larger project, that could be seen as an appropriate use of a visitor visa, Mr. Shipchandler said. “It’s a murky area, but for our purposes they misled consular officials.”1

Thus, it becomes clear that what the government was actually concerned about was the “coaching” of employees when they applied for visas or entered the U.S. on their B-1 visas. This will likely translate into those businesses, especially in the IT industry, facing greater scrutiny when applying for business-based visas.

The Wal-Mart settlement over sub-contracted labor changed the way in which businesses track the I-9’s of their subcontractors.2 Following the Infosys settlement, the future of business immigration may again be influenced; causing business to re-evaluate the processes by which apply for and document foreign workers.

Savvy business owners are using the Infosys settlement as an opportunity to review their practices and invest in preventative measures. By seeking out affirmative review of their business immigration practices, including I-9 compliance and proper creation and maintenance of H-1B, H1B1 and E-2 status Public Access Files, businesses are hoping to avoid the same fate, or worse, as Infosys. Review of current practices is particularly important in the current political climate, which seems to suggest a stronger shift to employer sanctions and compliance as part of any comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Sharma-Crawford Attorneys at Law is a Kansas City, Missouri, firm deeply experienced in the complexities of immigration litigation. Whether you are facing criminal or civil litigation in state, federal or immigration court, in Kansas or Missouri – the caring professionals at Sharma-Crawford can help you navigate through the complex legal system. Sharma-Crawford now also offers a full range of business related immigration services. For more information, please call (816) 994-2300 or visit The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. The information contained in this article is general information and should not be considered legal counsel.

17th “This is my Mexico” Children´s Drawing Contest

This is MexicoIn celebration of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad’s 10th anniversary, the IME is sponsoring important events throughout 2013, including the prestigious Children’s Drawing Contest.

For the first time, the contest will have an artist mentor – the world-famous Mexican artist, Jorge Marín, who specializes in painting and sculpting. Using his exhibit, “Wings of Mexico,” as inspiration, the IME has chosen Uniendo fronteras (bringing borders together) as the theme of this year’s contest.

For more details including contest and registration information, please visit the links below:
17th “This is my Mexico” Children´s Drawing Contest
17º Concurso de  Dibujo Infantil: “Éste es mi  México”

Piecemeal Immigration Reform is a Bad Idea

During a Fox News online telecast, Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte stated that legislation must be passed to tackle the issues regarding millions of undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S., the workforce’s demand for more high- and low-skilled labor and more. (more…)

Naturalization Test Preparation Resources

To qualify for naturalization, applicants must speak, read, and write basic English and understand U.S. history and civics. There are age-based exemptions and a disability waiver. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History collaborated to create a new educational website to help naturalization applicants prepare for the civics and history test. Launched this week, Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship, “features videos and multimedia activities that showcase artifacts from the Smithsonian Institution’s collections and exhibitions.”