ILW.COM - the immigration portal Immigration Daily

Immigration Daily: the news source for legal professionals. Free! Join 35000+ readers

Home Page

Advanced search


Immigration Daily

Archives

Processing times

Immigration forms

Discussion board

Resources

Blogs

Twitter feed

Immigrant Nation

Attorney2Attorney

CLE Workshops

Immigration books

Advertise on ILW

VIP Network

EB-5

Chinese Immig. Daily

About ILW.COM

Connect to us

Make us Homepage

Questions/Comments


SUBSCRIBE

Immigration Daily

 

Chinese Immig. Daily



The leading
immigration law
publisher - over
50000 pages of free
information!

Copyright
©1995-
ILW.COM,
American
Immigration LLC.

Immigration Daily: the news source for
legal professionals. Free! Join 35000+ readers
Enter your email address here:



< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

STATEMENT OF JOHN CONYERS JR.

 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION AND CLAIMS

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

 

OVERSIGHT HEARING ON THE OFFICE OF

SPECIAL COUNSEL FOR IMMIGRATION RELATED UNFAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES

 

MARCH 21, 2002

 

 

            In 1986, my colleague from Massachusetts, Mr. Frank, and I warned that the employer sanctions that were being legislated in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) would lead to widespread use of fraudulent documents and would result in much more discrimination against immigrants seeking employment in the U.S.  Mr. Frank helped to mitigate this problem by offering the amendment that created the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) to prevent and prosecute employment discrimination against immigrants.

            In the years since passage of the IRCA, we have seen substantial increases in discrimination just as we predicted.  With decreasing and insufficient funding the OSC has consistently done extremely important work by informing employees of their rights under the statute, advising employers on how to avoid violating the statute, helping to obtain important settlements for the individuals who have been victims of discrimination under the statute, and prosecuting discriminatory employers who were unwilling to settle or adhere to the law.

            While the OSC budget has decreased recently, the need for their efforts has increased as immigrant populations have expanded to communities across the country that previously had small and insular immigrant populations.  I have no doubt that addressing employment discrimination is critically important to members of the Arab and Latino populations that have grown considerably in my district and the Detroit area since this legislation was passed.

            Yet, the OSC is barely able to address the problem of discrimination in hiring and firing at all. The statute exempts most cases of discrimination on national origin or citizenship against immigrants so that it only applies to and protects a small and narrow class of victims.  Though some 900,000 employers admitted to the General Accounting Office that they engaged in behaviors amounting to illegal discrimination under IRCA, OSC is able to settle and prosecute only about 50 cases a year with their insufficient budget and staff.  We have not enabled them to fulfill their mandate - but their efforts do at least scratch the surface and address the claims of some victims.

            It is evident from the facts and the testimony that we will hear today that the OSC needs sufficient funding to tackle this important problem with the force and breadth that are needed.  It remains the only office within the Department of Justice that is addressing this increasingly important and widespread problem.  If employer sanctions are not working, we should strengthen them with a program that ensures that compliance with the anti-discrimination laws truly occurs.


Immigration Daily: the news source for
legal professionals. Free! Join 35000+ readers
Enter your email address here: