The Attorney General’s office announced on Monday that the Dept. of Justice will bring a lawsuit against Crop Production Services for discriminating against American workers in a way that violates the Immigration and Nationality Act. This constitutes the first lawsuit based on President Trump’s ‘Buy American, Hire American’ executive order signed last April.
In a public statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote: “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. 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.”
According to DOJ allegations, back in 2016 the Crop Production company refused to give seasonal jobs to at least three American workers who applied for them in El Campo, TX. Government investigators determined that 15 out of 15 of the company’s seasonal technician jobs were given to H-2A workers that year instead of American citizens.
The DOJ also found that the company placed stricter job requirements – including a background check and drug testing – on American workers before they could start, but did not wait for H-2A workers to fulfill the same requirements before putting them on the job. In some cases, the H-2A foreign worker never even had to complete these requirements.
The DOJ lawsuit also includes charges that Crop Production refused to consider an American worker who showed limited English-speaking ability, and instead hired a H-2A worker who couldn’t speak any English at all.