GISD board to discuss visa program under investigation - Dallas News |

GISD board to discuss visa program under investigation; docs. reveal names

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Tuesday night, the Garland School Board -- for the first time -- will speak in open session about its foreign teacher visa program, which is currently under federal investigation.

Dozens of teachers who paid fees they should not have been made to pay -- are facing deportation.

Last week, FOX 4 discovered that the current federal investigation of the H-1B visa program at GISD is not the first. In 2012, the district was ordered by the Labor Department to pay more than $250,000 in back wages to 153 foreign teachers.

Now, more documents from the Labor Department investigation reveal names.

The drama has played out in a series of school board meetings. Nearly two dozen foreign teachers face deportation, through no fault of their own.

Apparently, the teachers are victims of what the district calls "inconsistencies" in the visa program that brought them to North Texas -- evidence the teachers were paying fees they should not have been.

The program was first investigated by the school system, and was then turned over to Homeland Security.

"We've contacted senators, representatives at the federal level to see if there is anything we can do to get additional assistance these employees," said GISD spokesman Chris Moore.

Moore said on Tuesday, the board has asked that the superintendent and his staff to give them an update in open session about efforts to help the teachers stay in the country.

"The board wants to make sure that we are doing everything we can do," said Moore.

New documents obtained by FOX 4 shed further light on a previous investigation by the Labor Department covering the visa program from 2005 to 2009 that found basically the same thing -- the foreign teachers were paying fees that should have been paid by the school.

"…fees illegally paid by the H-1B worker must be repaid," the documents read, along with, "Garland ISD is ordered to comply in the future and ordered to refund $251,161.00 to 153 H-1B nonimmigrant workers."

Becky L. Yu is identified as "immigration attorney of record on some of the H-1B petitions."

Yu's law firm was fired in July of 2013 by the district.

FOX 4 has exchanged emails with and tried again on Monday to contact Yu directly at her Richardson office.

However, a staffer said, "We're not available for comment."

The newly-obtained documents on the previous investigation indicate that Yu "…was contacted by Victor Leos, executive director of human resources, to help with this investigation."

Leos was suspended as part of the current investigation, and he later retired.

FOX 4 tried to reach Leos for comment at his home. Again, FOX 4 was told he was not available to talk.

The current superintendent, Dr. Bob Morrison, has only been on the job about a year.

He said last week that he did not discover evidence of the previous federal investigation until September of last year, and the school board was never informed about it.

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