In response to a request from Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services James McCament revealed that Disney was one of several companies that were investigated for potential misuse of the H-1B visa program.
Following the 60 Minutes report “You’re Fired,” which discussed Disney having their IT workers train their outsourced foreign replacements, Senator Grassley asked USCICS whether an investigation into the reported companies took place.
The Department of Homeland Security’s response was as follows:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has participated in multiple investigations regarding the possible misuse of the H-1B visa program by employers such as Northeast Utilities (Eversource Energy), University of California, San Francisco, and Disney, as well as the firms contracted by these companies to provide H-1B workers. USCIS continues to review information from previously filed visa petitions and site visits at these companies and will refer its findings to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement if violations of the legal requirements can be substantiated.
When this issue was brought up during the GOP Debates, Disney issued the following statement:
Over the past 5 years, The Walt Disney Company has added more than 18,000 jobs in the U.S. Approximately a year and a half ago, we reorganized our Parks and Resorts IT department, taking it from a team that focused primarily on maintaining our existing systems, to one that is more focused on developing new capabilities. A focus on innovation is critical given the constant evolution of technology.
Approximately 250 people were affected by the reorganization, and we were able to hire back more than 100 of them in other positions with Disney. In addition, since the reorganization, we have hired more than 140 other US IT workers into technical roles within the Parks technology team, and we are currently recruiting candidates to fill more than 100 IT positions. The Parks US IT team will ultimately be larger than it was prior to the reorganization.
Since then, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said that it was a mistake to have the workers train their replacement.