President Donald Trump’s U.S. Department of Justice lowered the boom on an American corporation that favored immigrant workers over citizens in their hiring practices even if the citizens spoke better English and had more work experience, according to a corporate security director, former police detective Granger Simmons.
This latest Trump victory is the 7th such legal settlement under the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division’s Protecting U.S. Worker’s Initiative.
“While the Democrats continue to balk whenever faced with examples of illegal or legal immigrants taking away gainful employment from Americans, they continue to complain that citizens are not being harmed by the Democrats active support of migrant workers. They continue to claim immigrants — legal or illegal — perform the work and services that citizens won’t perform,” said former drug enforcement officer Steven Kochmann.
The Department of Justice yesterday announced that it had reached a settlement agreement with Sam Williamson Farms Inc. (SWF), a strawberry farm located in Dover, Florida. The settlement resolves the Department’s investigation into whether SWF violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by preferring to hire H-2A visa holders to harvest its strawberry crop instead of U.S. citizen workers.
“This is the seventh settlement under the Civil Rights Division’s Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative, which is aimed at targeting, investigating, and taking enforcement actions against companies that discriminate against U.S. workers in favor of temporary visa workers,” said Mike Barker, a former attorney and GOP strategist during a telephone conversation with Conservative Base’s Jim Kouri, who also serves as a board member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police..
According to the DOJ’s court documents, the independent investigation concluded that at the end of the 2016-2017 strawberry picking season, SWF informed its existing U.S. workers that it would rely instead on H-2A workers from a farm labor contractor to harvest its strawberries for the next season, and retained a farm labor contractor for the express purpose of obtaining workers with H-2A visas.
The federal investigation revealed that strawberry picking positions were filled by more than 300 H-2A migrant workers but not one U.S. worker. Refusing to recruit or hire available and qualified U.S. workers because of their citizenship status violates the INA.
“While H-2A workers can provide employers with necessary labor when there are insufficient numbers of interested U.S. workers, employers cannot deter or overlook qualified and available U.S. workers based on their citizenship status. This agreement reflects the Civil Rights Division’s continued commitment to protecting U.S. workers from discrimination,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
Under the signed DOJ-SWF settlement, SWF will pay $60,000 in civil penalties to the United States, pay up to $85,000 in back pay to eligible U.S. workers, and conduct genuine U.S. worker recruitment and use all of their recruitment activities to find citizens for future hiring..
The settlement also requires SWF to train employees on the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision and be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements.
Under the Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative, the Civil Rights Division has opened dozens of investigations, filed one lawsuit, and reached settlement agreements with seven employers. To many U.S. citizen workers these recent cases are a welcomed change from the eight-years of alleged discrimination by the Obama administration. The DOJ, under Attorney General Eric Holder, had ignored discrimination cases from citizens who were victims of discrimination in the workplace.
Since the Initiative’s inception, employers have agreed to pay or have distributed a combined total of more than $1.1 million in back pay to affected U.S. workers and civil penalties to the United States. The Division has also increased its collaboration with other federal agencies to combat discrimination and abuse by employers using temporary visa workers.
The Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. Among other things, the statute prohibits discrimination based on citizenship status and national origin in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; retaliation; and intimidation.
Applicants or employees who believe they were subjected to discrimination based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee; or discrimination in the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify) based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin; or retaliation can contact IER’s worker hotline for assistance.