Donald Trump’s Justice Department just settled with a Louisiana reality company over its alleged discriminatory hiring practices – but not the kind you might think.
In an interesting new pro-America turn for the DOJ, the Justice Department accused the Lockport, La., company of discriminating against U.S. workers, not foreign-born employees or those of any particular ethnicity or religion.
According to DOJ officials, Jorge Arturo Guerrero Rodriguez and his company, Barrios Street Reality, LLC “failed to consider or improperly rejected U.S. workers who applied for positions as sheet metal roofers or laborers” between 2014 and 2015. Instead, the company hired foreign-born workers under the federal government’s H-2B work visa program, which allows employers to fill temporary, non-agricultural positions with foreign workers if they can’t find able-bodied U.S. employees.
In the requirements for hiring foreign H-2B workers laid out by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a company must prove “there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work” in order to hire H-2B workers.
“The company’s petition for foreign workers falsely claimed that it could not find qualified U.S. workers,” the DOJ claimed in a statement announcing the charges. “Refusing to consider or hire qualified U.S. workers because of their citizenship violates the anti-discrimination provision of the INA.”
In a settlement, Barrios agreed to pay $30,000 in civil penalties and up to $115,000 in back pay to compensate 12 U.S. citizens who the company reportedly rejected for employment in favor of H-2B workers.
“The Department of Justice will not tolerate employers misusing visa programs to discriminate against U.S. workers,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division in the DOJ’s statement. “We will vigorously prosecute claims against companies that place U.S. workers in a disfavored status.”