U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice (DOJ) said it will file suit against a Colorado corporation accused of hiring foreign workers over Americans. It will be the first-ever lawsuit based on President Trump’s ‘Buy American, Hire American’ executive order.
In a statement by Sessions, the DOJ announced it file a lawsuit against Crop Production Services, Inc. The company is based in Loveland, Colorado. The DOJ will claim the company discriminated against American workers in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
“In the spirit of President Trump’s Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American, the Department of Justice will not tolerate employers who discriminate against U.S. workers because of a desire to hire temporary foreign visa holders,” Sessions said in a statement. “The Justice Department will enforce the Immigration and Nationality Act in order to protect U.S. workers as they are the very backbone of our communities and our economy. Where there is a job available, U.S. workers should have a chance at it before we bring in workers from abroad.”
In 2016, according to the DOJ, Crop Production discriminated against at least three American workers in El Campo, Texas, by refusing to give them jobs in seasonal positions. The company instead, awarded those jobs to imported foreign workers who came to the U.S. on the H-2A visa program.
The DOJ also says Crop Production hit American workers with tougher job requirements than they did foreign workers on H-2A visas in order to discourage Americans from taking jobs at the company’s Texas facility. According to the DOJ, American workers were forced to complete background checks and drug tests, while the imported foreign workers were allowed to begin working before completing either of the job requirements.
The DOJ complaint alleges that Crop Production refused to hire an American worker who had limited English-speaking abilities and instead hired foreign H-2A workers who did not speak any English. Crop Production gave all of its U.S. jobs in 2016 to foreign H-2A workers, rather than Americans.
Sessions’ suit against Crop Production is looking to get back pay for the American workers, as well as hitting the corporation with civil penalties and other regulations to prevent discrimination of Americans. The three American workers allegedly discriminated against have also filed a private lawsuit.
The Immigration and Nationality Act explicitly prohibits employers from discriminating against American workers solely for their citizenship status while favoring foreign workers who enter the U.S. on guest worker visas.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.