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New Memorandum of Understanding Increases Collaboration Between the DOJ and USCIS

June 11, 2018

On May 11, 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) announcing an increase in their collaboration to "better detect and eliminate fraud, abuse and discrimination by employers bringing foreign visa workers to the United States."

This new MOU expands the ongoing partnership established in 2010 between the USCIS and the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. Now, the DOJ’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) and the USCIS’s Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) will "collaborate to identify the types of information” relevant to each other’s investigations and "promptly share that information" with each other.

For example, the MOU specifically states that, "If FDNS becomes aware of information relating to suspected employer violations of the statutes and regulations that IER enforces governing the potential misuse of employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant visa programs to discriminate against available and qualified U.S. workers in favor of employment-based visa workers, FDNS will promptly refer that information to IER when FDNS’s policies and procedures do not require otherwise.”

Since the Trump administration implemented the "Buy American, Hire American” policy in 2017, the IER’s mission has switched from protecting immigrants against employment discrimination to ensuring that U.S. employers are not discriminating against American workers. This MOU will make it easier for the IER and FDNS to scrutinize employers for violations of regulations in line with this policy and thus might be burdensome on businesses by imposing reviews from multiple agencies when they would have previously only dealt with one.

The full Memorandum of Understanding can be found here.

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