Justice Department Warns Employers Not to Fire Salvadorans with TPS

Salvadoran TPS work authorizations are automatically extended for six months.


Important announcement from the Justice Department:

The Justice Department announced the launch of an updated educational video reminding employers that Salvadorans with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) may continue working beyond the Sept. 9, 2016, expiration date of their employment authorization documents. The Justice Department also cautions employers that requesting additional work-authorization documents from these workers may violate anti-discrimination law.

The video – released by the Civil Rights Division’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) – explains that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) automatically extended the validity of employment authorization documents for Salvadorans with TPS until March 9, 2017. Requesting additional work-authorization documents from these workers may violate the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This law prohibits employers from making additional and unauthorized documentary demands because of an employee’s citizenship, immigration status or national origin when verifying or re-verifying an employee’s employment eligibility.

“This video provides employers with a clear reminder and practical guidance to ensure that they comply with federal law when verifying the employment eligibility of Salvadoran workers with Temporary Protected Status,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is firmly committed to protecting the rights of all work-authorized immigrants and ensuring that employers do not engage in unlawful discrimination.”

TPS is a temporary immigration benefit that allows qualified individuals who are in the United States to stay and work for a limited period of time. A foreign country is designated for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, such as ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters or other extraordinary and temporary conditions in the designated country. Individuals with TPS can obtain employment authorization documents to work legally in the United States.

OSC is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. Among other things, this law prohibits citizenship, immigration status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing and recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; retaliation; and intimidation.

For more information about protections against employment discrimination under immigration laws, call OSC’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired), call OSC’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired), sign up for a free webinar, email osccrt@usdoj.govEmail links icon, or visit OSC’s website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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