Washington Post Muffs Good News on H-1B and Suburban Teachers

There was good news in the Washington Post over the weekend about the declining use of H-1B teachers in a D.C. suburb – but it was hard to tell from reading the paper’s story on the subject.

The school system in Prince George’s County (Md.) has announced that it is highly unlikely to continue its controversial use of the H-1B program to hire foreign teachers instead of resident ones. This should open hundreds of jobs to citizen and/or green card teachers and assure school children that they will be taught by native English-speakers, and by teachers with a life-long exposure to American society.

But that good news was completely buried by the Postcoverage, which focused on how one teacher from the Philippines, here on a temporary H-1B visa, might have to return to her home country when her visa expires. She expressed the all-too-common sense of migrant entitlement, saying that she expected the visa would be converted to a permanent one, and that she had been short-changed by the schools.

PG County, the least prosperous and the least well-governed of the five jurisdictions bordering the District of Columbia, is one of a number of school districts backing away from the H-1B program which PG had used to hire alien teachers, largely from the Philippines. The county had been caught violating the immigration law and cheating the alien teachers by a not-always-alert U.S. Department of Labor, and it had been banned from the program for a year.

That the Department is usually lax about such things, and that it practically never, to my knowledge, puts schools systems on its banned list escaped the eye of the Post reporter.

In the H-1B program the employer must pay any fees connected with obtaining the visa. The local school board, however, ignored that regulation and, in a move that can only be described as greedy and exploitative, forced the docile teachers to go into debt and pay those fees before they came to the U.S.

This is how the always pro-migration newspaper reported those facts:

…the teachers paid fees that they shouldn’t have…

Sounds like the Nixon White House explaining that “mistakes were made.”

I learned one useful thing from the article, however: the American Federation of Teachers has reported that the number of foreign teachers working in the U.S. has fallen from 20,000 to 13,000 currently, a trend that we had reported in an earlier blog. It is good to know that AFT is keeping track of such things.

For more on earlier developments in PG County, including links to earlier Post stories on the subject, see here andhere.

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