Obama Administration Cracks Down On Nebraska Company For Requiring Proof Of Lawful Status From Non-U.S. Citizens

US-DeptOfJustice-Seal_svgThe Obama Administration has secured a settlement with Nebraska Beef Ltd., a Nebraska-based meat packing company, over discriminatory practices. However, the company’s improper actions involved a requirement for employees to show proof of legal status for employment. The company was targeted because it did not also require proof of legal status from U.S. citizens.

Nebraska Beef agreed to pay $200,000 in a civil penalty and will establish an uncapped back pay fund for people who lost wages because they could not prove they are in the country legally. It also agreed to be placed under compliance monitoring for two years.

Here is the statement of the Justice Department:

The department’s investigation found that the company required non-U.S. citizens, but not similarly-situated U.S. citizens, to present specific documentary proof of their immigration status to verify their employment eligibility. The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from making documentary demands based on citizenship or national origin when verifying an employee’s authorization to work.

“The department is committed to ensuring that individuals who are authorized to work in the United States can support their families and contribute to our country’s economic growth without facing unnecessary and discriminatory barriers to employment,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division. “We will vigorously enforce the law to remove such barriers where we find them, and ensure that affected individuals have a means of seeking relief.”

The Administration interprets the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as prohibiting employers from making documentary demands based on citizenship or national origin when verifying an employee’s authorization to work. That constitutes discrimination. However the company appears to have viewed the proof of legal status as necessarily relevant only to non-citizens since, if it knew an employee was a citizen, there was no need to demand documents. Yet, it is not clear how it “knew” the citizenship of employees. It is also unclear why the company did not ask all employees were told to simply bring in either proof of citizenship or legal status (or if it did, why that was not equal treatment).

What do you think?

42 thoughts on “Obama Administration Cracks Down On Nebraska Company For Requiring Proof Of Lawful Status From Non-U.S. Citizens”

  1. I am OBVIOUSLY a US citizen, but none-the-less have been asked to PROVE such based on the documentation as presented by DBQ above for EVERY job I have ever had. What this company was doing is analogous to racial profiling which has been ruled to be a violation of the law over and over again. It is not that they WERE asking the SUSPECTED undocumented immigrants for proof of work status, it is that they WERE NOT asking everybody.

    Steg, of course you can discriminate between persons in the second meaning of the word, it is when you discriminate in the first sense of the word that you get in trouble. No one is going to fault you for choosong the best person fro the job based on the qualifications for the job, but to hire someone because they are white, or a man, or whatever, then you can get into trouble.

    Larry H., if Nebraska Beef did not use the E-Verify as a get of jail free card, then shame on them for not doing so. Sometimes you just have to play the game to CYA. I would like to see the system work better too, but it is not as simple as you suggest. I hope it does get better.

    As ridiculous as this may seem on the surface, the true merrits of the case resulted in an appropriate outcome. I am surprised the fine was not higher.

  2. Funny how Obama, the President, himself, was never subjected to the same rigorous examination–being tossed about as requirements for employers to utilize before hiring–with regard to his own birth certificate or any school records. Oh, that’s right. . .rules are for the little people.

  3. If a person is a citizen, what document could he/she show to establish “proof of legal status for employment,” pray tell?

    Social Security cards/numbers are not proof of identity or citizenship so that is out. And as pointed out the illegals use falsified and duplicate SSNs all the time, so verifying that is useless.

    These are acceptable proofs according to the US government.

    Documents serving as primary evidence of U.S. citizenship are:

    Previously issued, undamaged US passport
    Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state of birth
    Consular Report of Birth (of U.S. citizen) Abroad or Certification of Birth
    Naturalization Certificate
    Certificate of Citizenship

    The Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth should be obtained by persons who were born abroad to U.S. citizens.

    Secondary proof of citizenship http://www.travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/secondary-evidence.html/

    If you were born in the United States and cannot present primary evidence of U.S. citizenship, submit a combination of early public records as evidence of your U.S. citizenship. Early public records must be submitted with a Letter of No Record. Early public records should show your name, date of birth, place of birth, and preferably be created within the first five years of your life. Examples of early public records are:

    Baptismal certificate
    Hospital birth certificate
    Census record
    Early school record
    Family bible record
    Doctor’s record of post-natal care

    Early Public Records are not acceptable when presented alone.

    These are ways to determine that you are a citizen.

  4. We need to not make discrimination a dirty word. It is a good thing. I don’t know about you folks, but I sure as hell discriminate against incompetent people when I’m looking for a worker. If I need someone to play backup on the drums for me, I’m not hiring the armless legless man. Yes, I discriminated against his handicap. The NBA isn’t hiring 60+ white males, age discrimination. Of course, they have the right to seek the best candidate for the job. This leads them to DISCRIMINATE against lesser qualified individuals. IT IS A GOOD THING!!!

    I’m looking for a wife in the world. I am an equal opportunity dater, however, I discriminate against stupidity, lack of motivation, also looks. If I’m not attracted to a gal, sorry! I would expect the same in reverse.

    Did you take a different route to work today? Why did you discriminate against your normal route?

    verb (used without object), discriminated, discriminating.
    to make a distinction in favor of or against a person or thing on the basis of the group, class, or category to which the person or thing belongs rather than according to actual merit; show partiality:
    The new law discriminates against foreigners. He discriminates in favor of his relatives.
    to note or observe a difference; distinguish accurately:
    to discriminate between things.


    To discriminate is a natural human thing. Embrace it, since everyone already does it. I like definition #2 up there. From dictionary.com

  5. I am utterly baffled. If a person is a citizen, what document could he/she show to establish “proof of legal status for employment,” pray tell? What possible factor would establish that a citizen is NOT legally entitled to work? This is government bureauracy run amok, claiming discrimination at every turn.

    1. I don’t know. The point is Federal Law prohibits employers treating one GROUP of employees or employee-candidates differently from another GROUP.

      Is something wrong with that law?

  6. If employers had to e verify a persons status to have a job in this country illegal aliens would self deport. And please no more B.S. about not enough farm workers. Also when a parent becomes a citizen their offspring also becomes a citizen instead of at birth, or they can apply for citizenship at the age of 18

    1. Our own POTUS failed e-verify using a dead man’s social security number and the fat, spoiled, brain-washed, DNA damaged, autistic American public sleeps through it. Instead they get righteously angry about a clerk who won’t issue govt. sanctified marriage licenses. Right on clue, the media leads them around by the nose.

      Those who would even dare to PROPOSE that social security fraud should not be permitted under any circumstances, even to the God-like President of the United States are marginalized, condemned, ostracized, fined, charged and convicted. Like lemmings to the sea, that’s where we’re headed. People better start waking the f*ck up a little faster please.

      O‪bama Failed E-Verify: Linda Jordan Fined For Challenging Obama’s Identity Fraud‬

  7. The lack of sense in CEOs like this is beyond comprehension. I should apply for CEO jobs. I could not possibly do as bad as this holder of ID-TEN-T certificate!

    Any graduate of the most elementary compliance class would know you can not separate any GROUP of persons for different treatment apart from any other GROUP.

    Conversely, it is well and good to treat two different INDIVIDUALS differently all day, if circumstances support such disparate treatment. For instance: Employee A has never been late for work after twenty years of superb employment. Employee B is late for the first time after six weeks on the job. It’s reasonable and fully legal to give Employee A a light verbal warning and to give Employee B some much worse discipline.

    Also, every single “disciplinary conversation” must start with a clear unambiguous sentence such as: “This is a disciplinary meeting and discipline can take any form up to and including discharge. Is this clear?” You might even request the employee paraphrase what you just said and depending on the severity of the alleged violation, quote their paraphrase, or video record the entire meeting.

    I read that such lack of warning was part of Tom Brady’s complaint vs. Roger Goodell, paid $40M/annually to be dumber than me. Heck, I’ll do the job for a measely $1M/year!

  8. If Obama were to be able to run again and Trump was the Republicon opponent, then Trump would sweep 44 states. Six others would go to Bush, the Third Party Candidate. Speak Mexican Bushie boy.

  9. I feel I don’t know what’s going on and need information to make a decision on these things. Any info would be helpful, feel like I’m in the dark about all these issues. Mind spinning, would love to have the facts.

  10. I don’t generally like to comment but all the above about E-verify is ridiculous. ALL E-verify does is say the social security number the applicant presented is a valid number. E-verify is a GET OUT OF JAIL FREE card and nothing more. It is designed to ENCOURAGE ILLEGAL ALIENS not weed them out. There could be hundreds of illegals working the same VALID number all over the U.S. and the government does nothing about it.
    Every year the Social Securty Administration does a query to tell Americans what the most popular new baby names are. An even more simple query would show hundreds of people using the SAME SSN all over the country and we’d know almost all are ilegal AND many of those would show up in the same industry – Like meat packer per above
    We don’t run the query because we already know the results. We could end illegal immigration in a heartbeat if we stopped their employment. The problem is no one really wants to stop anything. REPS want the cheap labor – DEMS want the voting base – MIDDLE CLASS INDEPENDENTS ARE SCREWED

  11. When you hire someone you must fill in tax forms that illustrate the individual’s income, etc. If there is a law that employers must verify eligibility to work in the US, this should be, as well, part of the procedure. The stupidity is found in the employer exempting certain people on their assumption and not based on the required necessary documents. This is just another incident that the right wing fanatics are spinning, along with where he was born, etc.

    1. Issac, If a person speaks clear unaccented English, and has a Social Security number, and has a local address and drivers license, it is stupid to demand a green card or a passport, or a voter registration card and/or a birth certificate. E-Verify does not only use the SS number from what I know. The SS administration does send out no match letters, but the 9th court district or one of those courts has ruled they cannot be used to deny employment. Congress can change this by legislation, but as has been observed, all parties will not agree to it for their own reasons.

  12. I hire and fire my staff… And for each new hire I fill out I-9 forms as required by law.
    It really isn’t difficult for employers to follow the law. The issue comes in when employers become sympathetic towards hardships in obtaining said required documents… This case sounds as if they weren’t as sympathetic to hardships, but rather used bias as to what constitutes legal requirements about whom they required ID from. They couldn’t read the writing they were scribbling on the walls? They deserve the fine.

  13. This is truly insane. No proof of legal residence is required, then let us MAKE E-verify use mandatory. Of course, the GOP will never go for that since they are the ones who profit the most from hiring them. I cannot wait to here from the justice dept when we demand a passport from our workers and proof of legal residence from ALL non-US citizens. I will just sic the TSA on them if they try.

  14. This is INSANE and STUPID. It’s a Chicago style shakedown. Who is going to defend this?

  15. Anyone still curious about the appeal of Trump need only read about this preposterous incident and its mishandling by the Obama administration. His surge in popularity is a direct response to the perception that Obama and his goons have transformed our country into one which is unrecognizable. Hope and change.

  16. U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization.

    E-Verify is an Internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. E-Verify is fast, free and easy to use – and it’s the best way employers can ensure a legal workforce.

  17. Gawd! The hypocrisy of these nuts is beyond the scope of reason. I’m voting for Donald Trump! I can’t take this shiz anymore.

  18. This says it all

    However the company appears to have viewed the proof of legal status as necessarily relevant only to non-citizens since, if it knew an employee was a citizen, there was no need to demand documents.

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