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The Justice Department announced on Thursday that it has reached an agreement with Collabera, Inc., an information technology staffing agency in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Collabera was accused of violating the Immigration and Nationality Act by discriminating against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens. The department concluded, based on an investigation, that the company enforced a discriminatory applicant screening process, which recruiters refused to pass on to clients unless they could provide an unexpired immigration document. Collabera will pay a $53,000 civil penalty and $35,475.92 back pay to an affected worker. U.S. Department of Justice
In other local immigration news…
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New Yorker Held in NJ ICE Custody Tests Positive for COVID-19
📍 Documented Original A New York City resident tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday while being held in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody at New Jersey’s Bergen County Jail. According to someone with knowledge of the situation, the detainee tested positive shortly after the unit went on lockdown. ICE’s data indicates this is the eighth positive test in the facility, yet the agency has not updated its public record to reflect the detainee’s positive status. According to the Abolish ICE NY/NJ coalition, more than 140 individuals participated in hunger strikes in Essex and Hudson county jails to push for release due to fears of contracting COVID-19 while in custody. Lawyers and advocates say hunger strikers were transferred to facilities in Buffalo, South Florida and Texas because of the strike, or put into solitary confinement. Read more at Documented
New Jersey Undocumented Immigrants Fight for Driver’s Licenses
Protesters gathered in Trenton, New Jersey, on Wednesday to demand Gov. Phil Murphy (D) immediately push forward his law that allows undocumented residents to receive driver’s licenses. Immigrant advocacy groups Cosecha Movement, Let’s Drive NJ and Wind of Spirit, were joined by about 70 community members in front of the Trenton Motor Vehicle Commission before going to the War Memorial theater, where Murphy holds COVID-19 press briefings. Murphy said he understood the frustration but admitted the state does not have enough funding to speed up the process. The law was supposed to take effect early this year, but the MVC said it isn’t ready to implement it. NJ.com
Trump Administration Accused of Protecting Border Patrol Agents Involved in Racist Facebook Posts
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) is accusing the Trump Administration of protecting dozens of Border Patrol officers participating in racist Facebook groups. Maloney said Customs and Border Protection gave incomplete and overly-redacted documents in response to a subpoena for information regarding social media activity. ProPublica reported in 2019 that a Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol officers was full of jokes about dead immigrant children and other racist jokes, and contained graphic, altered pictures of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Congressional Democrats demanded the names of those in the group and a complete record of all the posts, but 18 months later, they haven’t gotten the records. Gothamist
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