The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice enforces federal statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion, and national origin. Under Democratic presidents, the Civil Rights Division largely confines itself to enforcing these statutes for the benefit of groups that are among the Democrats’ core constituencies, especially African-Americans.
To be fair, these are the groups that, by far, have suffered most from discrimination in America. But discrimination has never been confined to them, and it certainly isn’t these days.
Accordingly, I’m happy to report that the Civil Rights Division of the Trump DOJ, in addition to bringing cases to combat discrimination against African-Americans and Latinos, is also taking action to combat discrimination against groups ignored during Democratic administrations.
One such group is American nationals. Yes, some employers favor foreigners over Americans.
Here’s an example. El Expresso, a bus company in Houston, was looking for drivers. A qualified American driver applied, but received no response.
He reported his experience to the Texas Workforce Commission, and the case came to the attention of the Trump DOJ. It concluded that El Expresso was not considering American drivers. It wanted to hire only foreigners — guest workers in the U.S. on H-2B visas.
Why, then, did El Expresso post the advertisement that caused the American drive to apply? Because it had to. In order to seek an H-2B exemption, El Expreso had to certify that it was advertising for American workers and would offer jobs to qualified American applicants.
However, a DOJ investigation showed that, although El Expresso advertised for American workers, it had no interest in hiring them. The advertisement was a sham.
El Expresso denied that it discriminated against Americans. However, following the DOJ’s investigation, it agreed to cash awards for eight Americans who applied for jobs.
The El Expreso settlement marked the seventh time the Justice Department’s Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative has won a settlement from an employer. These settlements have collected more than $1.1 million in fines and payments for wronged workers. Dozens of investigations have been opened.
Eric Dreiband, the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, said this about the settlement with El Expresso:
U.S. workers are the lifeblood of our economy, and we are gratified that these U.S. workers have now been compensated for the discrimination that they faced. The Department of Justice will not tolerate employers abusing temporary visa programs to deny U.S. workers job opportunities.
I am gratified that, under President Trump, we have a Justice Department that protects American workers from discrimination on the basis of their nationality.