The Justice Department released a video this week encouraging companies not to terminate immigrants after their employment authorization expires, and indicated that doing so is a form of discrimination.
The video is shot in a dimly lit office, where two actors discuss whether their fictional company should let go of some Salvadoran employees who have failed to provide updated paperwork on their immigration status.
After a discussion about whether retaining the workers would violate the law, a woman says, "I think this is an exception to that rule," and recommends that they contact the the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices before making any decisions.
"We want to follow the rules but we don't want to lose these workers or discriminate against them," she concludes. "They are too valuable."
The video then tells viewers that the federal government has extended employment authorization by six months for people from El Salvador with Temporary Protected Status, a benefit designed to help foreign nationals who are considered unable to safely return to their home.
The Justice Department claims requesting additional work-authorization documents from these workers may violate a provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) designed to protect individuals from excessive employer demands based on their nationality.
"The Justice Department is firmly committed to protecting the rights of all work-authorized immigrants and ensuring that employers do not engage in unlawful discrimination," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in a statement upon the video's release on Thursday.