Attorney Sharma’s PolicyMic Article: Infosys Visa Fraud: Judge Dismisses Whistleblower Suit
By Ashwin Sharma
Earlier this week, Judge Thompson of federal court for the Middle District of Alabama rejected all claims brought by Jack Palmer against his employer, Infosys. Palmer claimed to have been harassed and retaliated against after making allegations that Infosys’ massive B-1 visa program was used fraudulently in place of more appropriate visas.
By way of background, when these allegations first arose in early 2011, I wrote about the strong likelihood that Infosys may have been engaging in a perfectly legal action under existing U.S. immigration law on B-1 visas. Subsequently, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), apparently motivated by Palmer’s Testimony, addressed a strongly worded but poorly researched memo to Secretary Hillary Clinton in which he demanded a complete review of the B-1 visa. His request was inexplicably granted, and the resultant changes substantially injured the economic interests of U.S. organizations engaged in international trade, countermanded congressional intent on the subject, and escalated denials for B-1 applicants at U.S. Consulates, especially those in the ‘B-1 in lieu of H-1B’ category.
Returning to the court’s decision: It was interesting to note that despite all the recent attention on various states’ interpretation of federal immigration law, Judge Thompson avoided the topic entirely: “Palmer’s brief spends an inordinate amount of time addressing whether Infosys engaged in visa fraud. To be clear, this litigation does not concern whether Infosys violated American immigration law. Rather, Palmer’s suit rises and falls on a simple inquiry: whether he has created a genuine dispute of material fact on his state-law claims.”