By NWV Senior Political News Writer, Jim Kouri

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.

Department of Justice’s Use of Immigration Sponsorship Programs Department of Justice (DOJ)

DOJ Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz also announced the release of a report examining the DOJ’s use of immigration sponsorship programs. DOJ components sponsor foreign nationals in the United States to help support investigations and prosecutions. The report examined DOJ components’ oversight of foreign national sponsorship activities, including information management and coordination within DOJ and with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

DOJ components reported sponsoring over 5,000 foreign nationals between fiscal years 2015 and 2017, the majority of whom were sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that DOJ components must enhance their oversight of sponsorship activities to ensure they have adequate controls for managing and overseeing foreign nationals.

Overall, we believe DOJ components must establish effective management controls and sufficient oversight to fulfill their obligations to DHS, protect the public, and achieve their objectives of furthering investigation and prosecutions. Today’s report makes 10 recommendations to assist the DOJ and its components in the oversight of sponsorship activities. The relevant DOJ components agreed with all 10 recommendations.

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