The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Labor have joined forces to step up scrutiny of employers who sponsor or hire foreign nationals.
More than ever, employers must make sure they are and remain in compliance with immigration laws and regulations, from sponsoring employees for visas to maintaining and reviewing records of existing employees and their visa status.
DOJ’s Civil Rights Division and DOL will now:
- Share more information.
- Refer matters more easily to the appropriate official in each department.
- Train each other’s employees.
- Jointly work to identify violations with DOL’s foreign labor certification process. Certain employment-based visas require employers to first seek to hire U.S. workers before considering visa holders. Labor certification is designed to make sure no qualified U.S. workers are available to fill the job that is held or will be given to a foreign national.
The collaborative agreement marks the latest in the ongoing response to President Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order issued last year. That order seeks to restrict employer-sponsored immigration in an effort to boost employment rates and wages among U.S. workers.
The Civil Rights Division has struck similar agreements with the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State.
Previously, I discussed what employers should know about inspections to help ensure compliance and prepare for a possible inspection—or even an investigation.
Our team assists employers with everything from visa options for employees to labor certification to internal audits of immigration documents. We can help you create clear internal policies about how to respond to a notice of inspection or an investigation.
Since the Civil Rights Division launched an initiative to protect U.S. workers last year, it has:
- Opened “dozens” of investigations on employers.
- Filed a lawsuit against an employer.
- Reached settlements with three employers.
- Exacted more than $285,000 in back pay for U.S. workers from employers.
Between January 29 through July 20, more than 5,200 business received inspection notices this year. That’s up dramatically from 1,360 inspection notices served to businesses during the entire 2017 fiscal year.
We Can Help
The Alcorn Immigration Law team believes immigration yields innovation. We closely monitor immigration policy changes that impact companies, entrepreneurs, professionals, and families. We can help you, your company, your employees, and your family. Contact us.