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AILA Reacts to Fragomen PERM Audits

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued an unprecedented press release stating it is auditing all labor certifications filed by Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, the nation’s largest immigration law firm. The press release alleges that Fragomen attorneys may have improperly advised clients to contact their attorney before hiring U.S. workers in some cases. On June 4 the American Immigration Lawyers Association wrote the DOL criticizing it for issuing a press release before it has concluded its investigation of Fragomen.

AILA noted that the agency’s position gives "rise to a serious concern about DOL’s interpretation of the legitimate role of counsel in the labor certification process. . . . " And that prior to PERM. . . ."it was standard practice for [the government]. . . to send the resumes to the attorney. This was a tacit acknowledgment of the role of the attorney in advising employers regarding what elements on those resumes they could or could not take into account when considering applicants. . . .This practice did not, and does not, constitute improper attorney participation in the consideration of applicants. Rather, it is the permissible rendering of legal advice to employer clients on the statute and regulations governing employer actions during the labor certification recruitment process."

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