Several Garland Teachers May Get Deported Amid Trouble with the District's Visa Program

teacher_recruit_cover_garlandisd.jpg
From Garland ISD's teacher recruitment page. The silhouettes are probably not meant to be stand-ins for the H1-B teachers being deported.
It's not entirely clear why Garland ISD turned an internal investigation into its H1-B visa program over to the feds.

The district's official line was that it "felt obligated" to tell the U.S. Department of Homeland Security based on the "recommendations of third-party legal counsel," which was rather opaque. So was Superintendent Bob Morrison's statement to The Dallas Morning News, that "This is about looking at that process [of recruiting foreign teachers]."

However tight Garland ISD's lips, this much is apparent: You don't call in the feds unless there's a strong indication of wrongdoing, and a lot of teachers in Garland are in danger of having their lives torn apart.

Fox 4 interviewed several of those teachers on Monday, all of them in danger of being deported because of the problems with Garland ISD's H1-B program.

"We haven't done anything wrong," Elizabeth Nino de Rivera told the station. "We were just following the rules."

H1-B, which allows a limited number of foreign workers in certain specialty fields to work in the U.S., is technically a non-immigrant visa, meaning it carries no promise of a green card. But Garland ISD seems to have recruited the teachers with the promise that it would help them obtain permanent residency, and accepted fees to do so.

Harry Jones, the lawyer Garland ISD hired to conduct its investigation, told Fox 4 that the district and the teachers are both victims in a scheme that involved fees that were improperly paid to a law firm. His investigation named three district employees involved in the scheme: Associate Superintendent Gary Reeves, former human resources director Victor Leos, and teacher Paul Ruediger.

Reeves and Ruediger have been placed on leave. Reeves pleaded ignorance in an interview with the Morning News, placing the blame on Leos, who is now retired. A last-ditch ass-covering attempt, perhaps but Leos did do a September 2013 interview with Univision that, in retrospect, seems a bit disingenuous.

"It has to do with the economy," he told the station, explaining why teachers were being notified that their visas weren't being renewed. "Basically their thinking is that why do we need teachers [who have to] apply for permanent residency when there are many people in the United States who do not have a job?"

Reeves, though, would have had to have some knowledge of the H1-B program. After all, Garland ISD has been something of a pioneer in the field. In widely cited victory in 2006, it convinced the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services' Administrative Appeals Office that bilingual-teacher interns qualified as specialty workers eligible for visas under the program, provided they were enrolled in a teacher certification program. The district employs some 260 teachers through the H1-B program, about eight percent of its total teaching staff.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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55 comments
paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

the x wife works in gisd...hates it....zombieland felt need to stop down and criticize garland in the first 5mins of the moview..its the worst city in the history of the world...Id like to expel garland from DFW proper

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

I just realized something.  In the photo from the GISD recruitment page, there are 14 people shown and only 4 of them are men.  GISD is sending the message that men are not wanted as teachers!

ruddski
ruddski

".... no promise of a green card..."

"... a lot of teachers in Garland are in danger of having their lives torn apart."

Over-dramatize much?

Sheesh, millions of Americans were promised stuff that basically swung an election, and none of us are upset or having our "lives torn apart" as a result of that growing string of lies.

These people obviously don't have what it takes to be an American.

lebowski300
lebowski300

H1B visas are PURELY a means to suppress wages to the benefit of large institutions, public and private.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

I went out and looked to see what is required to become a "certified teacher" in Texas.


One of the requirements is that you take an approved "Educators Preparation Program".


I tried to find what the content is of an "Educators Preparation Program", but could find no program contents.


Can anyone tell me what the subject matter is that is covered in one of these programs, or provide me to a link that shows the course, or subject matter, content?  TIA

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

I'm unclear on that final paragraph.  Are you saying that they allow 8% of their teachers to be uncertified?

dingo
dingo

Baltimore: a case study in International Teacher recruitment

..These recruits were placed primarily in schools labeled “persistently dangerous” by the state of Maryland....

.. Rather than attending job fairs throughout the Mid-Atlantic, trying to persuade reluctant American teachers to accept positions in troubled inner-city schools, HR officials can meet all their hiring needs in one trip. At a single career fair in Manila, they can interview hundreds of pre-screened applicants, each of whom is eager to pay for the opportunity to work in Baltimore city schools...

https://www.aft.org/pdfs/international/importingeducators0609.pdf

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

It would appear GISD's recruiting is geared not toward foreigners, but rather the obese.

ruddski
ruddski

With Mexico occupying the top spot of legal immigration already, something tells me there were already plenty of bi-lingual teachers available. Teaching isn't that much of a "specialty" position. Sumthin' just ain't adding up, and I'll bet Garland was trying to save a few bucks, and not altogether legally.

Darren
Darren

Is there really such a shortage of teachers that we have to bring in foreign teachers? Maybe that's a sign that the pay sucks. 

bermoro
bermoro

@ruddski God bless you, and I hope, forgives you.

Of course your life is not torn apart because they are not telling you to go to another country, after 10 years of living hear. So, I hope God forgives you for those comments. You do not know.......

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ruddski

you're still bitching about the George Bush/Dick Cheney election?

get over it already!

ruddski
ruddski

I've been trying to convey the idea that suspension of immigration laws for a select few tens of millions has had the same effect on Americans in the lower economic bracket, and that amnesty for those tens of millions will lead to tens of millions more lining up for the next amnesty.

I've also suggested that this open-borders policy will exacerbate income inequality and make it harder to "spread the wealth around".

Now I'm told I'm racist for using the same simple logic and math you've used. So, what size hood should we send, and do you prefer pure white, or an off-white sheet?

ruddski
ruddski

I think it has something to do with ignoring the First Lady's nutritional guidelines.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

It's not that they're immigrants that I care about, it's that they're teaching without certification.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz

no, 8% of the teachers in the District are employed via the H1-B program.

The Super is quoted in the Channel 4 story saying all of the teachers brought in by the H1-B program are certified to teach.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@dingo  Tech companies have been recruiting from impoverished foreign countries for years, of course. I'm just surprised at the blatancy in the case of Baltimore. Once in a while, I'm on the side of the AFT and its ilk, and when I am, I'm 100% supportive of them and against scams like this.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@ruddski  Surely the fees paid to the unnamed law firm wouldn't have made their way back as kickbacks. Surely, because these are dedicated education professionals, just trying to do What's Best For The Children.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@Darren  No, there's not such a shortage. I know of two mid-career business professionals who undertook the teacher transition program, willing to take the pay cut in return for post-layoff stability, and then were not able to secure jobs in DISD. One excuse was that "we don't know how to work with ex-business people, we'd rather have fresh grads," and the other excuse was "that principal/hiring authority prefers to draw from her own list of candidates."

ruddski
ruddski

Nice try, but we got yet another admission today of yet another blatant lie, on top of the WaPo's four fresh pinnochios yesterday.

It's getting so hard to keep up with the bullshit, some people are pretending that they don't read the news anymore.

ruddski
ruddski

The linked PDF says "probationary teaching certificate", and after two years they may take the "appropriate teacher certification program".

That says to me that they aren't quite certified.

messwright
messwright

@wcvemail @Darren  I'd like to see DISD principals replaced by "ex-business people." That would take care of the discrimination. 


Side note: my kids were in DISD for two years, and most of the teachers in  that school were those clueless recent grads. It was awful. Not that the experienced teachers were any better, as most of them hated their jobs, and they seemed to be counting down to retirement. It was the saddest "educational environment" I ever witnessed.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@wcvemail @Darren  

This translates loosely as: We don't have time to deal with self-directed people with their own opinions of how things should work. It is far easier for us to indoctrinate and deal with fresh-faced, pliable new grads and immigrants that won't rock the boat.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@wcvemail

There is a lack of qualified bilingual teachers, if you look at where these teachers were recruited it was from Columbia, Mexico and Venezuela.

ruddski
ruddski

People with private-sector (real world) experience can be as threatening to those in academia as they are to certain presidential administrations.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ROFLCopter

he was clearly wrong with that line, wasn't he?

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

What a surreal world you live in Ruddski.

Just as your statement's veracity rest on what is in each statement, so does everyone else. Including your and my President.

I'm more than happy to agree with the failings of the Pres, as long as the points are accurate and true. It's disappointing that there are those such as yourself that don't apply the standard of truth when discussing the Pres. The repeated use of the phrase "totalitarianism" and the use of a discredited story that began this dialogue is clear evidence of your willingness to not apply that standard.

And then the all too familiar allusion to Obama bring a communist sympathizer...you are nothing if not predictable.

Do you think there will be a lot of Confederate flags raised full staff when Obama's term is over, or just half staff?

ruddski
ruddski

By your standards, mavdog, if a single claim or statement made by the president is proved to be a lie, then all his statements are lies.

Again, if you wish to defend clear deceptions by the most powerful leader on Earth by pointing out that small, inconsequential men have lied about him, that is your right. That your strategy enables totalitarianism because you like the totalitarian proves my constant point, progressives admire, defend and in their hearts, prefer the benevolent totalitarian.

Think Obama will attend Fidel's funeral when the day comes, or will he simply half-staff the nation's flags?

Now, back to Bush/Cheney, the good old days when anti-government was patriotism.

ROFLCopter
ROFLCopter

@mavdog  If you like your insurance you can keep your insurance.


Burn.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

Great tap dance around the reality you made a statement, an accusation, that was false. Was shown long ago to be a lie.

I prefer to not deal in generalities but focus on facts. When you can bring yourself to do the same we could have that debate, however, as it is my facts trump your conjecture.

Always.

ruddski
ruddski

Do you find it unusual that an administration caught lying so often and blatantly might have no more credibility than this employee?

Again, your obsession with ignoring obvious patterns and seizing on singular questionable sources or events tells me that you're intent on being an apologist for an administration proved to have lied and/or misrepresented important facts sbout polices and actions.

Sooner or later, were going to get in the weeds about what the definition of is is.

If you want to defend deception, I don't care, it's natural for someone to deflect from their own gullibility.

But fact is, Obama lies often. That I, and increasingly, others (including supporters), recognize this undeniable fact is not negated by the employment status of one person.

All those "pinnochios", the "lie of the year". They're real, Mav. But I suppose recognizing those lies, just as replying to you, indicates "obsession" to you makes any debate with you a waste of my time.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ruddski

so clearly you were not aware that the source of the allegation on the unemployment stats had zero credibility?

ironic isn't it, the source you rely on was telling a lie...

ruddski
ruddski

Mav, you keep suggesting that I'm consumed just by pointing out blatant lies you never seem to acknowledge.

Let me be clear, then that's it.

I don't care if you accept the lies, any of them. Really. It makes no difference if you pretend they don't exist.

Now, by replying to your latest osychological assessment, I expect you'll again tell me I'm obsessed, so buh-bye.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ruddski

too funny. you don't know the NY Post story about the 2012 unemployment numbers was quoting a person who wasn't working for the government when he claimed to have been told to "fudge the data"?

really, get some help for your unhealthy obsession. it is consuming you.

ruddski
ruddski

Well fudged unemployment numbers, the famous Lie of the year"

If you like your delusion, Mav, you can keep your delusion.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ruddski

oh, you weren't directing the comment about the Bush/Cheney election?

odd.

just what "stuff...swung an election"? from what I witnessed the election was lost by the loser not having a well run campaign with a message that wasn't accepted by the voters.

ruddski
ruddski

Hey, with so few tobacco users and e-smokers to demonize, the fatties are fair game. They can't run, but they can't hide!

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ruddski

actually the PDF explains what the "probationary certification" entails. it doesn't "contradict the interview", in fact it agrees with the super.

the teachers haven't completed the State required coursework to be certified, as they were educated outside of the US. they have however completed in their native country similar coursework required for certification

The feds accepted their qualifications under the "probationary" status and determined they complied with the requirement to be "certified". see page 14.

ruddski
ruddski

I don't know, why are you so obsessed in essentially telling me you have no idea why they are on probationary status, and then must take the certification test.

Not to be "re-certified", but to get "certification"

See the difference?

It's not my fault the PDF contradicts the interview, and frankly, I don't care.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ruddski

maybe you are wrong and he is right.

many professions require re-certification and MCE. why would teachers be different?

ruddski
ruddski

Maybe he didn't read about the program before he made claims about the program. Common mistake for people in positions of power.

And if they are certified, why take the certification test?

Apparently "probationary" means something entirely different than "probationary"

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ruddski

take it up with the super.

"Last week, Superintendent Bob Morrison told FOX 4, "Every one of our teachers that are here on visas are highly qualified, certified teachers. They are going a great job in the classroom. We're here to support them through this process."

also, apparently you don't understand the term "probationary".

messwright
messwright

It's not my intention to bash DISD teachers, but I do imagine the setting is just as grim in the majority of the district's schools. 


Would hiring more "ex-business" types yield a workforce that requires more of administration? People with work experience outside of academia might have higher expectations of their employer. (I just answered my own question for why the business types are being ignored, didn't I?)

wcvemail
wcvemail

@mavdog @wcvemail  Point taken in this case. However, the story from Baltimore, linked above, describes highly attended teacher job fairs in Manila. Baltimore is not in need of that many Tagalog-bilingual teachers. 

ruddski
ruddski

@myrnathenut

Gee, then I guess I have to withdraw the claim you made up for me.

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