Crop Production Services, a company based in Loveland, Colorado is now facing a lawsuit from the Department of Justice over claims that the company discriminated against American citizens when hiring for seasonal work.
John G. Gore, Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division, filed the lawsuit on Thursday arguing that the agricultural company had violated the Immigration and Nationality Act.
“In the spirit of President Trump’s Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American, the Department of Justice will not tolerate employers who discriminate against U.S. workers because of a desire to hire temporary foreign visa holders,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “The Justice Department will enforce the Immigration and Nationality Act in order to protect U.S. workers as they are the very backbone of our communities and our economy.”
“Where there is a job available, U.S. workers should have a chance at it before we bring in workers from abroad,” he argued.
The DOJ argued that the company “preferred to hire temporary foreign workers under the H-2A visa program,” rather than hiring American citizens to firm at their company.
“For instance, the complaint alleges that whereas U.S. citizens had to complete a background check and a drug test before being permitted to start work, H-2A workers were allowed to begin working without completing them and, in some cases, never completed them,” the DOJ said.
The complaint indicated that the company had hired H2-A workers who could not speak English and refused to hire American citizens with limited-English proficiency. The complaint also highlighted, “U.S. citizens had to complete a background check and a drug test before being permitted to start work, H-2A workers were allowed to begin working without completing them and, in some cases, never completed them.”
The complaint highlights that the company refused to hire three Americans, Ramiro Torres, Ramiro Salinas, and Javier Salinas, “based on their citizenship status” and instead filled most of their positions with “H-2A visa holders from Mexico.”
“Specifically, [Crop Production] refused to allow Javier and Ramiro Salinas to start working in Seasonal Technician jobs at [Crop Production’s] rice breeding facility in El Campo, Texas, during the 2016 work season, and refused to interview Ramiro Torres for a Seasonal Technician job during the 2016 season, because [Crop Production] preferred to hire only temporary foreign workers for those jobs rather than employing qualified U.S. workers such as the Injured Parties,” the complaint states.
A spokesperson for the Crop Production Service was evasive, when asked about the lawsuit and it’s unfair treatment of American citizens. “CPS is aware of the complaint that was issued today, but is not able to comment on it as it is an active legal matter,” the spokesperson said. “CPS is reviewing the allegations and determining its response.”