Stimulus funds paid foreign workers in Oregon

AP News
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Posted: Oct 21, 2011 10:27 AM
Stimulus funds paid foreign workers in Oregon

A federal investigation found that at least $7 million in federal stimulus money intended to provide jobs for unemployed Oregonians instead paid wages to 254 foreign workers.

The Oregonian reports ( http://bit.ly/qIcQRW) the money went for forest cleanup jobs in central Oregon in 2009 when unemployment was over 11 percent.

Contractors told federal regulators they could not find enough local workers for the jobs and brought in foreign workers.

A report this week from the Labor Department's inspector general found the contractors used legal loopholes but violated no laws or regulations.

Congressman Peter DeFazio, who asked for the investigation, says it's "obscene that U.S. companies were rewarded for abusing our American workers and immigration laws to undercut competition and squeeze more profits out of contracts."

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com