Sen Vance questions DOJ on companies favoring migrant workers over Americans


FIRST ON FOX: Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, is demanding answers from the Department of Justice about companies allegedly prioritizing hiring migrant workers over U.S. citizens, despite federal law requiring them to do the opposite. 

In a letter to Kristen Clarke, the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, and Alberto Ruisanchez, the Chief of the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER), Vance expressed his concerns as to whether the DOJ “is faithfully carrying out its statutory duty to protect American workers from employment practices that privilege asylum seekers, parolees, and other aliens over American citizens.”

The letter was sent on Wednesday and was also signed by Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.

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Sen. J.D. Vance

Vance aired his concerns over whether American workers are being protected. (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

Vance noted that under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), citizens of the U.S. are “protected” and cannot be discriminated against in hiring processes due to their status as American citizens. Under the same law, unauthorized aliens are not free from discrimination in the hiring process. 

Summarizing the law, Vance wrote that U.S. citizens are actually “more than protected — they are preferred.”

The Ohio senator pointed to recent reports of companies specifically looking to hire migrants in the U.S. who are seeking asylum. One such report that fired up border security advocates was that of Tyson Foods, in which Bloomberg News detailed the company courting and hiring asylum seekers, who are not protected under INA, for jobs. 

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Migrants crossing Texas border

As the southern border remains vulnerable, asylum-seeking migrants continue to enter the U.S. (David Peinado/Anadolu via Getty Images)

According to the outlet, the company met in February with migrants from Venezuela, Mexico and Colombia, and hired 17 asylum seekers for roles at a plant in Humboldt, Tennessee. The company then reportedly hired 70 additional asylum seekers in March. 

Fox News Digital reached out to Tyson Foods for confirmation of the report but did not receive a response. The company has rejected “misinformation” that it would fire American workers to hire immigrants in the wake of the reports, adding that it is “strongly opposed to illegal immigration.” But it did not address the claims of hiring asylum seekers in its public statement. 

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Under the INA, individuals who are admitted to the U.S. as refugees or granted asylum are considered protected. However, the organization that Tyson Foods is working with, Tent Partnership for Refugees, has not made a clear distinction between refugees and individuals who are still seeking asylum, or whether its definitions of the terms are the same as the U.S. government’s. 

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland

Attorney General Merrick Garland leads the Justice Department. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Further, companies joining the nonprofit’s coalition are facing allegations of violating the INA, despite the potential legal recognition of the refugees being hired. While the law does not allow protected groups to be hired based on origin or citizenship status, it also disallows favoring workers because of their status and potentially preferring them over U.S. workers. 

Vance noted that the DOJ’s IER has appeared to spend more time focused on enforcing anti-discrimination provisions for non-citizens and ensuring their protection in the hiring process than it has for U.S. citizens. He cited the number of press releases on anti-discrimination from IER over a two-year span and how many of them were addressing the rights of citizens, non-citizens, or both.

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He said the disparity “might be defensible if discriminatory employers rarely favored aliens, or if the problem of discrimination against U.S. citizens were receding, but instead discrimination against U.S. citizens is increasingly commonplace.”

Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio

Vance is asking whether the quotas some companies have committed to are in violation of INA.  (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Vance claimed that “Employers have taken advantage of IER’s leniency.” He noted that many of the companies in Tent’s coalition have committed to various quotas of refugees to hire. “The INA prohibits hiring decisions that are made ‘because of’ an American job seeker’s U.S. citizenship. Can employers’ numerical hiring quotas coexist with that mandate?” 

The Ohio Republican asked the DOJ officials if it is “currently investigating any companies for unlawfully using refugee hiring quotas?” and how many such investigations have happened over the last two years. He also asked if the IER would begin to conduct investigations if it has not yet. 

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Tent did not respond in time for publication to Fox News Digital’s request for clarification regarding its definitions of refugee and asylum and whether they are in keeping with the U.S. government.

The DOJ did not provide comment to Fox News Digital in time for publication. 





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