Politics & Policy

How Did the Dems’ IT Scandal Suspects Get Here?

(Photo: Scyther5/Dreamstime)
Were the Awans and their family and friends H-1B tech workers?

Here is a radical proposition: The public has a right to know the immigration status and history of foreign criminal suspects. Their entrance and employment sponsorship records should not be treated like classified government secrets — especially if the public’s tax dollars subsidized their salaries.

In March, I contacted the D.C. offices of House congressional Democrats Joaquin Castro of Texas, Sander Levin of Michigan, Marcia Fudge of Ohio, Greg Meeks of New York, and Ted Deutch of Florida. These public officials have at one time or another employed one of three Pakistani Muslim brothers or their family and friends caught up in a criminal theft and hacking probe of the House Democrats’ information-security systems. In all, IT worker Imran Awan and his family and friends hoovered up an estimated $4 million in government funds over a period of 13 years.

For months, the D.C. Capitol Police have probed allegations that the Awan ring stole equipment from more than 20 congressional offices and accessed the House IT system without members’ knowledge. Investigative reporter Luke Rosiak at the Daily Caller News Foundation has done excellent work on the case — most recently breaking the news of Imran Awan’s arrest in late July at the airport for alleged bank fraud, mortgage scams, and shady wire transfers of nearly $300,000.

Awan was headed to Pakistan to join his wife, Hina Alvi, and three children, who had hastily fled America in March after Alvi was fired by Representative Meeks. This reeks.

My question to the House Democrats was simple: Were the Awans and their family and friends H-1B tech workers — like so many of the 650,000 “temporary” foreign guest workers imported into America under that program over the past quarter-century and predominantly working in IT?

And if they’re not H-1Bs, how exactly did Awan and company get here, when did they get here, and who brought them over here and why?

These are simple questions. Given that these foreign IT workers now under investigation were paid for with our tax dollars, Americans deserve to know their path to the public trough. This is especially true when so many members of Congress in both parties continue to clamor for expanding foreign guest-worker programs such as H-1B and refuse to enact freezes on corrupted visa programs exploited by foreign tourists (B visas), students (F-1 visas), and workers (H visas) acting in bad faith.

Moreover, U.S. tech workers have grown increasingly vocal about being forced to train underqualified, shoddily vetted foreign replacements before getting pink-slipped — and increasingly alarmed at their access to sensitive personal, financial, and health data.

Awan first landed a job with former Democratic representative Robert Wexler as an “information technology director” in 2004 at the ripe age of 24 or 25. His younger brother, Jamal, is reportedly only 23 years old, yet has pulled in a salary of nearly $160,000 a year since 2014 (when he was 20!) as an information-technology worker for Democrat representative Julia Brownley. That’s 3.1 times greater than the median salary for a House IT worker, according to InsideGov.

U.S. tech workers have grown increasingly vocal about being forced to train underqualified, shoddily vetted foreign replacements before getting pink-slipped.

Who sponsored these young foreign techies and chose them to do work in our nation’s capital doing a job that countless young Americans are qualified to do? If not H-1B, did they arrive first as students on foreign visas (who are supposed to return home after their course of study), then game the system to work through the cheap-labor loopholes, such as the Optional Practical Training program? Or did they switch visa categories? Did they pull strings through their well-connected Democratic employers?

The communications official in Representative Castro’s office, which employed Imran’s brother, Jamal, responded that she would “touch base with some colleagues” and keep me posted. No word since. The others didn’t bother to answer at all, nor did they respond when I followed up last week.

As for defiant Democratic representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who only fired Awan after his arrest two weeks ago, it’s apparently un-American to question how foreign criminal suspects got to America and stayed here. Schultz last week cited “racial and ethnic profiling concerns that I had” to deflect from her eyebrow-raising handling of the matter, which now involves smashed hard drives seized from Awan’s home by the FBI.

The good news is that Senator Charles Grassley on Tuesday asked DHS for all immigration summaries and detainers for Imran Awan, wife Hina Alvi, brothers Jamal and Abid Awan, and friends/associates Natalia Sova and Rao Abbas. But it shouldn’t take a Senate demand letter to penetrate the Dems’ partisan protectionism. We paid the salaries of their suspect foreign IT minions. They answer to us.

READ MORE:

DWS and the Pakistani IT Scammers

DWS: My Staffer Was Under Suspicion Because of Anti-Muslim Bias

Why Was the Wife of DWS’s Swindler Staffer Allowed to Leave the Country?

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Problem with Certainty

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Including those of you having this read to you while you white-knuckle the steering wheel trying to get to wherever you’re going for the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Worst Cover-Up of All Time

President Donald Trump may be guilty of many things, but a cover-up in the Mueller probe isn’t one of them. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, attempting to appease forces in the Democratic party eager for impeachment, is accusing him of one, with all the familiar Watergate connotations. The charge is strange, ... Read More
World

Theresa May: A Political Obituary

On Friday, Theresa May, perhaps the worst Conservative prime minister in recent history, announced her resignation outside of number 10 Downing Street. She will step down effective June 7. “I have done my best,” she insisted. “I have done everything I can. . . . I believe it was right to persevere even ... Read More
PC Culture

TV Before PC

Affixing one’s glance to the rear-view mirror is usually as ill-advised as staring at one’s own reflection. Still, what a delight it was on Wednesday to see a fresh rendition of “Those Were the Days,” from All in the Family, a show I haven’t watched for nearly 40 years. This time it was Woody Harrelson ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Democrats’ Other Class War

There is a class war going on inside the Democratic party. Consider these two cris de couer: Writing in the New York Times under the headline “America’s Cities Are Unlivable — Blame Wealthy Liberals,” Farhad Manjoo argues that rich progressives have, through their political domination of cities such as ... Read More
Culture

The Deepfake of Nancy Pelosi

You’ve almost made it to a three-day weekend! Making the click-through worthwhile: A quick note about how National Review needs your help, concerns about “deepfakes” of Nancy Pelosi, one of the most cringe-inducing radio interviews of all time, some news about where to find me and the book in the near ... Read More
White House

For Democrats, the Party’s Over

If the Democrats are really tempted by impeachment, bring it on. Since the day after the 2016 election they have been threatening this, placing their chips on the Russian-collusion fantasy and then on the phantasmagoric charade of obstruction of justice. The attorney general accurately gave the ingredients of the ... Read More
U.S.

America’s Best Defense Against Socialism

The United States of America has flummoxed socialists since the nineteenth century. Marx himself couldn’t quite understand why the most advanced economy in the world stubbornly refused to transition to socialism. Marxist theory predicts the immiseration of the proletariat and subsequent revolution from below. ... Read More