4 Repeated Employer Violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act

  • Apr 7 2017

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) addresses nearly every piece of immigration law in the United States. This federal law deals with a number of issues that relate to employment and immigration, including hiring requirements, discrimination issues, and visa quotas.

Sometimes both employers and employees do not realize when a violation of the INA has occurred. However, understanding some of the most common violations can help employees assert their rights.

1.      Terminating or Hiring Based on Immigration Status

Employers cannot hire only US citizens exclusively or immigrants exclusively. In fact, immigration status should not be considered at all in the hiring process, other than to show that the worker can legally perform work in the United States as required by federal and state law. Nonetheless, violations often occur for discriminatory reasons or because immigrants may be more prone to working for lower wages.

The practice of hiring immigrant workers because they will work for less is discriminatory and unethical. It also results in lower wages for immigrants as a whole and harms the overall economy.

2.      Requiring that You Hold a Certain Visa or Obtained Citizenship

An employer can never force an immigrant to obtain citizenship as a condition of employment. They also cannot specifically require that you get a particular type of visa unless federal law permits this requirement. It is also illegal for employers to require that you hold a temporary work visa.

Of course, discrimination based on the perception that you are an immigrant, such as in relation to your appearance, accent, or nationality is also illegal under the INA. It may also violate other federal and state civil rights laws as well.

3.      Demanding Additional Documentation beyond What Is Required by Law

You must provide certain documents to show that you can work in the United States when you start a new position. Generally, this includes materials such as:

  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Social Security Card
  • Driver’s License
  • Official Photo ID
  • Passport

An employer that requires additional documentation is engaging in illegal activity. This conduct is frequently referred to as “document abuse.” If you believe that an employer a potential employer is asking you for inappropriate information, you can do a simple Internet search to find Form I-9 to determine the appropriate documents that an employer can request.

4.      Retaliating Against a Worker Who Has Reported an Immigration Violation

You have the right to report immigration violations to the authorities. Your employer cannot retaliate against you for exercising this right. You can report violations anonymously if you are concerned about employer retaliation. Nonetheless, adverse job actions such as being forced to move job locations, demotion, or termination based on reporting and immigration violation are illegal.

Immigrants have certain rights in the United States, even when it may not feel like it. It may be frightening or intimidating to assert these rights, but having an immigration attorney on your side can help. Call the Talamantes Immigration Law Firm, APC at 619-916-4570 for more information.

Posted in: Immigration Law