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  • Bloggings: Settlement by Justice Department against Employer Discrimination by Danielle Beach-Oswald

    Bloggings on Immigration Law

    by Danielle Beach-Oswald

    Bloggings: Settlement by Justice Department against Employer Discrimination, by Danielle Beach-Oswald

    Anti-discrimLast Thursday, the Justice Departmentís settlement with a leading facility services company proved that the INAís anti-discrimination provision prohibiting employers from discrimination against noncitizens is a necessary and enforceable doctrine. ISS Facility Services Company is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas and employs approximately 15,000 employees in the United States.
    Based on a referral from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Justice Department began an investigation on the company. The issue was whether the ISS offices in Dallas and Houston were requiring non-citizens to present specific U.S. Department of Homeland Security-issued documents to establish their identity and work-authority while not having the same requirements for U.S. citizens. The INA includes an anti-discrimination provision which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against noncitizens by demanding more or different documents than U.S. citizens would be required to present.

    Pursuant to this provision, the Justice Department and ISS reached a settlement where ISS agreed to ensure that all its offices would provide training and comply with the INAís anti-discrimination provision. ISS also agreed to pay $49,800 to the United States to identify and compensate any individuals who may have suffered economic injuries as a result of its practices. Additionally, ISS agreed to have their employment eligibility verification practices monitored by the department for the next two years.

    As Gregory Friel, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, noted: ďWe commend ISS for its exemplary cooperation in working with the department to identify the source of the problems in its employment eligibility verification process at two of its offices and to work with the department in addressing those problems.Ē ISSí settlement sends a message to employers that they must comply with the INAís anti-discrimination provision, and companies that fail to do so will be held accountable for their unjust actions.

    Bloggings: Benefited Not Burdened -- Immigrantsí Impact on the DC-VA-MD Area, by Danielle Beach-Oswald


    Immigrants, both authorized and unauthorized, contribute greatly to the economies of the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland. With close to 1.8 million immigrants in the DC-VA-MD[1] area, immigrants are helping to revitalize the economy through entrepreneurship, consumer spending, and by contributing to the tax base.

    Economic activity, consumer spending, and job creation are extremely important as the nation recovers from the economic crisis. The DC-VA-MD area is on a path to recovery, due in large part to the immigrant population and their economic activity. It is not just authorized immigrants who are leading the economyís revitalization, but also unauthorized immigrants are playing a significant role. If unauthorized immigrants were removed from the DC-VA-MD area, the area would lose $27.6 billion in economic activity, $12.3 billion in gross state product, and 141,585 jobs. Immigrants also contribute greatly to the areaís tax base. In the Washington, DC metropolitan area alone, immigrants contributed $9.8 billion in taxes in 2000. And in Maryland, immigrants contributed $4.0 billion in federal, state, and local taxes in 2000. And with an ever increasing immigrant population, taxes paid by immigrants will continue to rise. Due to the immigrant population and their activities in the DC-VA-MD area, the area has been greatly benefited and it will continue to benefit from the presence of immigrants if permitted.

    Furthermore, immigrants who call the District, Virginia, and Maryland home are well educated and highly skilled. Accordingly, immigrants greatly benefit the areaís economy and they are helping contribute to the economyís revitalization. In the District, 51.5% of foreign born naturalized citizens and 47.2% of noncitizens hold a bachelorís or higher degree, which is only slightly less than Census Bureauís 2011 estimates for the whole of the District, at 52.5%. Thus, immigrants residing in the District are just as educated as non-immigrants and are therefore they are able to significantly contribute to the Districtís tax base and economic activity.

    In Maryland and Virginia, the rate of immigrants who hold Bachelorís or higher degrees is significantly higher than the estimates for the whole of these two states. Immigrants here are more educated that the domestic born population. In Virginia, 40.7% of all immigrants have a bachelorís or higher degree, while only a little more than one third of Virginiaís entire population has a bachelorís or higher degree. Thus, immigrants make up 16.6% of all bachelorís or higher degrees held in Virginia.  Similarly, 40.3% of all immigrants in Maryland have a bachelorís or higher degree, while the state rate of bachelorís or higher degree is 36.9%. Therefore, almost one fifth of all bachelorís or higher degrees in Maryland are held by immigrants. While statistically, the DC-VA-MD area has a higher rate of bachelorís or higher degrees compared to the national average, which only hit 30% this year, immigrants contribute greatly to this higher than average rate. And with such a significant percentage of immigrants holding Bachelorís or higher degrees, these statesí economies canít help but be benefitted.

    With a highly educated immigrant work force, immigrants are playing an important role in areas that greatly impact society and the economy. In Maryland, the sciences and healthcare are greatly benefitted by the local immigrant population. A 2006 study found that over one-quarter of all scientists, that over one-fifth of all healthcare providers, and that one-fifth of mathematicians and computer specialists working in Maryland are foreign born. Thus, the District, Virginia, and Maryland can ill afford to lose their immigrants as they play a vital role in maintaining a stable economy in the area.

    Additionally, the DC-VA-MD area has one of the largest immigrant communities in the country; only California, the Tri-State area, Texas, Hawaii, and Florida have larger immigrant populations. Immigrants in the DC-VA-MD area do not only benefit the areaís economy, but also they greatly influence politics and government affairs. Many of the immigrants in the DC-VA-MD area are naturalized U.S. citizens. While only a third of the immigrants living in the District have become naturalized U.S. citizens, nearly half of all immigrants in Virginia and Maryland have obtained this status. As naturalized U.S. citizens, these immigrants have obtained the right to vote. Thus, many immigrants in the District, Virginia, and Maryland are helping influence and shape the areaís and the nationís political landscape. And as seen in the last election, naturalized U.S. citizens are overwhelmingly using their right to vote now, more than ever before.

    All immigrants, both authorized and unauthorized, are extremely important to the DC-VA-MD area. They are playing a role in revitalizing the economy, they are greatly contributing to the tax base and they are helping shape the nationís politics. With a highly educated and skilled immigrant population, DC-VA-MD immigrants will only continue to see success as they help boost the areaís economy and make breakthroughs in their chosen fields. And with the number of immigrants residing in the DC-VA-MD area that are eligible to vote, immigrants are also shaping the political community and influencing political change. The DC-VA-MD area needs immigrants to remain a strong, economically vibrant, and racially diverse community.

    [1] Immigrants in the District make up 13.5% of the population, or 83,599 people. In Maryland, 13.9% of the population is part of the immigrant population, or 811,701 people. And in Virginia, immigrants make up 11.1% of the population, or 900,243 people.

    About The Author

    Danielle Beach-Oswald is the current President and Managing Partner of Beach-Oswald Immigration Law Associates in Washington, DC. Ms. Beach utilizes her 19 years of experience in immigration law to help individuals immigrate to the United States for humanitarian reasons. Born in Brussels, Belgium, Ms. Beach has lived in England, Belgium, Italy and Ivory Coast and has traveled extensively to many countries. Ms. Beach advocates for clients from around the world who seek freedom from torture in their country, or who are victims of domestic violence and trafficking. She has also represented her clients at U.S. Consulates in Romania, China, Canada, Mexico, and several African countries. With her extensive experience in family-based and employment-based immigration law Ms. Beach not only assists her clients in obtaining a better standard of living in the United States, she also helps employers obtain professional visas, and petitions for family members. She also handles many complex naturalization issues. Ms. Beach has unique expertise representing clients in immigration matters pending before the Federal District Courts, Circuit Courts, Board of Immigration Appeals and Immigration Courts. She has won over 400 humanitarian cases in the United States. Her firm's website is www.boilapc.com.

    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.
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