By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

El Expreso Bus Company, based in Houston, Texas, has paid over $90,000 to eight U.S. workers pursuant to a May 29, 2019 settlement agreement with the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

The settlement resolved claims that El Expreso discriminated against U.S. workers due to a hiring preference for temporary visa workers, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This settlement is part of the Department’s Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative, which targets, investigates, and brings enforcement actions against companies that discriminate against U.S. workers because they prefer to hire foreign visa workers.

The investigation which led to the settlement determined El Expreso failed to consider applications from qualified U.S. workers for its temporary bus driver positions and then petitioned for H-2B visa workers to fill the positions. The H-2B visa program requires employers to recruit and hire available and qualified U.S. workers before they receive permission to hire temporary foreign workers. See prior blog post - The INA prohibits employers from refusing to hire or consider U.S. workers because of their citizenship status except in limited circumstances.

If you are concerned about your company’s immigration compliance, I invite you to read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book that I co-authored with Greg Siskind, available at