MOU signed between DOJ and State to protect immigrant workers from discrimination

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The release said agencies will also provide each other with technical assistance.

The Departments of Justice and State announced on Tuesday that they have given shape to a new formalized partnership aimed at protecting the immigrants on the work visa from being discriminated by their employers.

In order to safeguard the rights of the immigrant workers in the US, the Civil Rights Division of DOJ has signed an MOU with Bureau of Consular Affairs to share information about employers who violate the rights of foreign workers.

According to the official press release from the Department of Justice, “Under the MOU, the Civil Rights Division and the Bureau of Consular Affairs will share information about employers that may be engaging in unlawful discrimination, committing fraud, or making other misrepresentations in their use of employment-based visas, such as H-1B, H-2A, and H-2B visas.”

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The release said agencies will also provide each other with technical assistance and training to encourage complaint referrals and effective collaboration.

The Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER), formerly known as the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  The provision prohibits, among other things, citizenship and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruiting.

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In February 2017, IER launched its Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative, a program aimed at targeting, investigating, and bringing enforcement actions against companies that discriminate against U.S. workers in favor of foreign visa workers. The Initiative filed its first lawsuit last week against a Loveland, Colorado, company for allegedly discriminating against the US workers.

“Employers that discriminate against qualified U.S. workers by favoring foreign visa workers will be held accountable,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John M. Gore of the Civil Rights Division.  “Today’s agreement reflects the Civil Rights Division’s commitment to using all available tools, including collaboration with other federal agencies, to protect U.S. workers from discrimination.  The Division welcomes the Department of State as a partner in this effort.”

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“The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs is pleased to have joined forces with the Department of Justice to protect U.S. workers, combat fraud, and facilitate legitimate international travel,” said Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Carl C. Risch.