By Bruce E Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

On November 29, 2021, the Department of Justice marked the 35th anniversary of the passage of the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). As the DOJ stated:
Thirty-five years ago, Congress passed a law prohibiting employers from discriminating against workers because of their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin, and from retaliating against them for asserting their rights,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The division continues to vigorously enforce the law – holding thousands of employers accountable for violations, collecting millions of dollars in civil penalties and back pay, and obtaining relief for countless victims of discrimination.
The INA prohibits employers from unnecessarily reverifying a worker’s permission to work or specifying the types of documentation a worker is allowed to show to prove permission to work, because of the worker’s citizenship, immigration status or national origin. As a result, even when an employer has a legal requirement to check that a worker still has permission to work, the employer must allow the worker to present whichever acceptable documentation the worker chooses.
In the past five years alone, the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) has reached more than 100 settlements to resolve discrimination claims under the INA. In addition to resolving claims involving discrimination in verifying an employee’s legal permission to work, the IER has worked tirelessly to resolve matters involving employers that refused to hire non-U.S. citizens because of their immigration status; disqualified workers from consideration based on their national origin; rejected U.S. workers due to a preference for temporary visa holders; and retaliated against workers for asserting their legal rights.
The IER has also worked to educate the public about this law to prevent violations from occurring in the first place. This effort has included conducting more than 600 presentations or webinars in the last five years and helping tens of thousands of callers to a free hotline for workers and employers.
If you want to know more information on issues related to employer immigration compliance, I recommend you read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and available at