The Department of Justice (DOJ) fined a bus company this week after finding that the business had discriminated against qualified American citizens and hired imported foreign workers on the H-2B visa instead.
On Wednesday, the Justice Department announced a settlement against El Expreso Bus Company in Houston, Texas which investigators discovered had wrongfully thrown out or ignored applications of qualified Americans for temporary bus driver positions.
Instead, the DOJ settlement found, El Expreso Bus Company hired imported foreign workers who arrived in the United States on the H-2B visa, which has been recently expanded to bring tens of thousands more low-skilled foreign workers to the country by President Trump’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
According to the settlement, El Expreso Bus Company must pay $31,500 in civil penalties, as well as nearly $200,000 in lost wages to American citizens who applied for and were qualified for the jobs but were not hired.
“Employers cannot discriminate against qualified U.S. workers because they prefer to hire visa holders,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “This agreement is part of the Civil Rights Division’s continuing commitment to protect U.S. workers from discrimination, and we look forward to working with El Expreso as a partner in compliance.”
The Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative of the Justice Department was created in 2017 by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and has since settled six cases with businesses who were found to have discriminated against qualified American citizens by passing on them for jobs in order to hire imported foreign workers.
In February, a Virginia firm was fined after hiring foreign workers imported through the H-1B visa program instead of hiring qualified American citizens who had applied for jobs.
The H-2B visa program has been widely used by businesses to drag down the wages of American workers in landscaping, conservation work, the meatpacking industry, the construction industry, and fishing jobs, the latest study from the Center for Immigration Studies finds.
When comparing the wages of H-2B foreign workers to the national wage average for each blue-collar industry, about 21 out of 25 of the industries offered lower wages to foreign workers than Americans.
Though Trump signed his “Buy American, Hire American” executive order in early 2017, his DHS Secretaries, General John Kelly, Kirstjen Nielsen, and Kevin McAleenan, have each approved tens of thousands of additional H-2B foreign workers that businesses are allowed to import to take U.S. jobs.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.