DOJ Charges Hotel with Discrimination for not Hiring Immigrant in Fraud-Infested Asylum Program
NOVEMBER 08, 2018
In a case that helps illustrates why illegal immigrants game the system, the Trump administration is punishing a major hotel chain for refusing to hire a man that is not a lawful permanent resident or American citizen. Like countless undocumented aliens seeking quick employment, the man applied for asylum, a fraud-infested government program famously abused by foreigners to obtain work permits and other benefits in the U.S. When the New York-based hotel eliminated the asylee from the hiring process the Department of Justice (DOJ) charged it with discrimination after he filed a complaint.
This week the DOJ settled the case with the Hyatt Place Hotel in Queens. Under the settlement, the hotel’s management company, MJFT, will pay a civil penalty, train its staff and be subject to government monitoring and reporting requirements for three years. “In general, employers may not restrict the employment opportunities of asylees because of their citizenship or immigration status,” John Gore, the principal deputy assistant attorney general for the DOJ Civil Rights Division, said in an agency statement. “The Department is committed to enforcing workplace laws that prohibit discrimination to ensure that individuals have an opportunity to be fully and fairly evaluated based on their merits when they apply for jobs.” The DOJ asserts that the hotel discriminated against a work-authorized immigrant in violation of the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
It’s important to note the history of the U.S. government’s asylum program, long abused by illegal immigrants making fraudulent claims to get work permits and other taxpayer-funded benefits. When the program started in the 1990s asylum applicants received work permits instantly upon filling out the application. This led to a barrage of work permits being issued by the government. The policy eventually changed, by making asylum applicants wait 180 days before receiving authorization to work. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the overwhelmed agency that administers the nation’s lawful immigration system, refers to this as the “180-day Asylum EAD Clock”. The clock starts ticking the moment an asylum application is filled out.
Because there is a massive backlog in asylum cases, the clock has expired for legions of immigrants who may not even be legitimate candidates to remain in the country but are now able to work “legally.” Earlier this year USCIS made changes in the asylum processing system precisely to crack down on fraudulent claims filed to get work permits. The agency announced it will schedule asylum interviews for recent applications ahead of older filings—that perhaps already ran out the 180-day clock—to “deter those who might try to use the existing backlog as a means to obtain employment authorization.” The agency describes the current backlog as being at “crisis level.” As of January 21, 2018, USCIS had an asylum application backlog of 311,000, making the “system increasingly vulnerable to fraud and abuse.” The backlog has grown an eye-popping 1,750 percent over the last five years and the rate of new asylum applications has more than tripled, USCIS reveals. The new “last in, first out” interview schedule will allow USCIS to identify frivolous, fraudulent or otherwise non-meritorious asylum claims earlier and place those individuals into removal proceedings.
Judicial Watch has reported extensively and uncovered documents exposing the rampant fraud in the government’s asylum program. Under the Obama administration it was a well-known racket that admitted myriads of illegal immigrants who claimed to have a “credible fear.” In one scam the administration let hundreds of illegal immigrants stay in the U.S. even though federal authorities knew in advance that an open borders group coached them to falsely claim “credible fear” to get asylum. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) show how the group, National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NITA), orchestrated an operation to bring 250 illegal aliens into the U.S. through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California. To assure the migrants were allowed to stay in the U.S., the group had them falsely claim that they had a “credible fear” of returning to their native country. Foreigners can claim asylum under five categories, based on fear of persecution over race, religion, nationality, political opinions or membership in a specific social group. The caravan making its way north from Central America is expected to seek asylum in the U.S. under one of these categories.
Credible fear asylum in the U.S. became so popular under Obama that illegal aliens were hearing about it on Facebook and federal immigration authorities got slammed with applications. For years the number of foreigners, including many from terrorist countries, asserting credible fear to gain asylum in this country skyrocketed. Last year the Washington D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) published a report documenting the pervasive fraud in the credible fear process that threatens the integrity of the asylum system. Among the key findings: Aliens with ties to terrorist organizations have attempted to enter illegally and claim asylum fraudulently; the number of asylum applications received by USCIS has increased significantly in recent years from 56,912 in 2014 to 115,888 in 2016. “The evidentiary burdens for aliens seeking asylum and withholding of removal are lower than for aliens seeking other immigration benefits,” CIS researchers found.
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