Every day in the ongoing battle for a sensible federal immigration policy, a story pops up that leaves you shaking your head. Today, this item comes out of San Diego. The Justice Department has sued the University of California Medical Center, San Diego for what it claims is immigrant bias.
The DOJ alleges that the hospital demanded excessive documentation from non-citizen job applicants and employees to prove they were eligible to work but did not make similar demands of U.S. citizens
Accordingly, the Justice Department has filed a lawsuit filed with its Executive Office for Immigration Review, seeking unspecified monetary damages for affected workers. The lawsuit contends that the hospital has discriminated against what it calls non-citizen applicants and hires from January 2004 through June 2011. Maybe I’m missing something? Federal law prohibits hiring illegal aliens so due diligence should be appropriate, not punishable.
Thomas E. Pérez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's civil rights division said:
"All workers who are authorized to work in the United States have the right to work without encountering discrimination because of their immigration status or national origin." [Feds Sue California Hospital, Alleges Immigrant Bias, Fox News Latino, December 7, 2011]
No one argues with that, most of all the UCSD Medical Center which insists that it has no knowledge of anyone denied employment based on the application practices the DOJ questions. Moreover the UCSD invited a Homeland Security personnel specialist to train its managers on how to carry out the government’s hiring regulations. As a result, the hospital now allows job seekers to offer identification from a longer list of documents in order to work eligibility including driver’s licenses and social security cards.
This shapes up as a major headache for the UCSD which has more important things to do with its time and money than defend against improbable DOJ charges. The lawsuit is another glaring example of how the Legal Workforce Act, and its mandatory E-Verify provision, could save everybody a lot of trouble. If enacted, E-Verify would immediately confirm whether new hires are legally authorized to work. In the future, UCSD could hire applicants it considers worthy, then use E-Verify to check their status.
E-Verify is the free, easy and certain way to check work authorization. Apparently however the Obama administration prefers to sue everyone in sight who tries to enforce immigration law.