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Unhappy Workers Processing Immigration Applications

December 3, 2007

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Immigration Contractor Trims Wages

Workers who help process millions of visa and citizenship applications for a federal immigration agency are getting pay reductions just as the agency is facing an enormous surge in those applications.

The workers whose wage rate will be cut are contract employees in document processing centers in St. Albans, Vt., and Laguna Niguel, Calif., that are part of Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency responsible for deciding visa applications and citizenship petitions. Some 280 of approximately 1,000 contract workers in the two centers will receive lower wages after a new contractor, Stanley Inc. of Arlington, Va., takes over tomorrow.

“If you’re trying to get people motivated to deal with a huge backlog, the last thing you would do is slash pay,” said Senator Bernard Sanders, independent of Vermont, who received many calls. “It just creates more turnover, more discontent and more demoralization.”

Stanley announced Sept. 24 that it had won a $225 million, three-year contract for clerical work at the two immigration centers.
The new contract is based on performance and does not specify how many workers Stanley should hire. But Stanley is required to pay according to federal regulations that classify jobs and set their hourly wages.
Eric Wolking, senior vice president at Stanley, said that none of the competing companies received information during the bidding about wage levels of the current employees. Stanley only became aware of the mismatch between its proposal and current wages when managers began interviewing the workers, he said.

  • employees weekly income will drop tomorrow by 12 to 20 percent.
  • starting Monday, a worker making $14.54 an hour, said, he will make $12.84 an hour and will no longer be able to work overtime. He will lose as much as $400 a month.
  • federal employees were not affected by the contractor wage changes.

Bids for any government contract are supposed to be scrutinized by government oversight. Of course, government oversight has been sorely lacking for too long. Knowledge of the contract is the responsibility of the bidder and government monitors. To learn wage scales after the fact.

Eric Wolking, senior vice president at Stanley, said that none of the competing companies received information during the bidding about wage levels of the current employees. “When we submitted our bid, we did not know what they know about the wage scale,” said Mr. Wolking, referring to Citizenship and Immigration Services.

This is just one more example of contractor bidding breakdown that impacts Taxpayers. Not all Taxpayers are American, after all. Anyone who does business in the USA or receives a wage in the USA is subject to taxes. The majority of non-Americans pay those taxes. Sadly, some illegal workers must use someone else’s Social Security number or Taxpayer ID number. This inevitably includes identity theft.

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The slower the Immigration Processors move, the longer some aliens must use stolen taxpayer ID numbers. The longer this happens, our own identities are vulnerable. Why do you think the headlines shout about compromised personal data from banks, credit companies, and the government itself? Some of those numbers are being used to steal money. Most of those numbers are sold to illegals who want to work in America.

Personally, I just want to collect my meager social security check and go hide in a hole somewhere. There is something very wrong with how this government does business. I’ll be lucky if I ever get a Social Security check at all …

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One Comment
  1. December 4, 2007 7:14 pm

    These really should be civil service jobs. The contracting corruption in DC is just appalling.

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