Sheriff Department, School District Settle Citizenship Status Claims Filed by U.S. DOJ

Immigration policy will be a major focus in the incoming Trump Administration-for good or for ill–but in the meantime the work of enforcing the nation’s existing laws goes on.

The U.S. Department of Justice this week announced settlements in two cases alleging employment discrimination based on citizenship.

One case involved the Denver Sheriff Department, the other the Aldine, Texas, Independent School District.

In the action against the sheriff department, the DOJ said its investigation had revealed that om approximately Jan. 1, 2015, until approximately March 23, 2016, the department discriminated based on citizenship status by requiring applicants for deputy sheriff positions to be U.S. citizens and publishing job postings with U.S. citizenship requirements, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Among other  terms of the settlement agreement, the Denver Sheriff Department will pay $10,000 in civil penalties and identify applicants who may have been disqualified from consideration for deputy sheriff positions due to the citizenship requirement and consider these applicants’ qualifications without regards to their citizenship.

Meanwhile, in the independent school district case, DOJ found that Aldine required non-U.S. citizens, but not similarly-situated U.S. citizens, to present specific documents when reverifying their employment eligibility once their original documents expired.  That violates the INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibiting employers from making specific documentary demands based on citizenship or national origin when verifying or reverifying an employee’s authorization to work.

To settle that claim, the district is paying $140,000, and will implement a three-year program to train employees, students and students’ parents on the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.

Read about the settlement by the sheriff department here and by the school district here.

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