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Justice Department Warns Employers against Seeking Additional Work Documents from Salvadoran Immigrants with TPS

hlsEmployers have been warned by the Justice Department to stop seeking additional work permit authorization documents from Salvadorans, who have been awarded Temporary Protected Status (TPS).  The announcement was made to coincide with the release of an educational video, which aims to remind employers that Salvadoran immigrants with TPS can continue working in the US, even beyond the original expiration date of March 9, 2015. The Department of Homeland Security extended this expiration date earlier in the month.

The “reminder” video features a conversation between two HR managers, who are seen debating the need for new work permits for employees whose work authorization documents are expiring soon.  The educational video highlights how new documents are not required in this particular case since the US government recently extended the work permit status for Salvadoran immigrants with TPS by another 6 months.

The video, released by the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Relief Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), goes on to explain that requests for additional work permits can be seen as a violation of the anti-discrimination provision within the Immigration and Nationality Act. According to this act, employers must refrain from demanding unauthorized work related documents based on the citizenship status of an employee.

Vanita Gupta, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division, recently said, “We hope this video will prevent discrimination against work-authorized immigrants and help employers across the country understand employment eligibility verification rules. Federal law prohibits discrimination in the employment eligibility verification process, and the Justice Department is committed to enforcing the law.”

Temporary Protected Status allows immigrants to reside and work in the US for a specific length of time. TPS is designated for immigrants from countries where living conditions are considered unsafe due to environmental disasters, armed conflicts or other extraordinary conditions.  Immigrants with this special status who are coming to the US hope to lead a more normal life by attaining suitable jobs until their residency status can be fully resolved. The TPS for Salvadoran immigrants has been extended through September 9, 2015.

If you or someone you know would like legal counsel regarding TPS or need assistance on another type of immigration issue, please contact the immigration attorneys at Lyttle Law Firm in Austin, Texas by visiting our website or calling us today at 512-215-5225.