WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced July 26 it has filed a lawsuit against Louisiana-based companies Technical Marine Maintenance Texas LLC, which provides contract shipyard labor, and Gulf Coast Workforce LLC, a related company, for allegedly violating the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The complaint alleges that Technical Marine Maintenance Texas limited the acceptable documents immigrants could use to prove their workers’ citizenship status from at least January 2014 to July 2017. 

The INA mandates that all workers, regardless of their citizenship status, must be allowed to choose from among the valid documentation to prove their employment eligibility. Specifically, the INA bars employers from discriminating against immigrants by limiting the choices they can use to prove their eligibility.

“The law protects both U.S. citizens and non-citizens from discriminatory obstacles during the Form I-9 or E-Verify processes,” said acting assistant attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Civil Rights Division. “Employers cannot limit the types of documents a worker can present to prove employment authorization, and if this limitation occurs because of citizenship status or national origin, the Civil Rights Division will vigorously enforce the law.”

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