The Denver Sheriff’s Department is being fined $10,000 and will be forced to change its hiring practices for not considering non-citizens for potential jobs. The Justice Department claims that refusing to consider non-citizens for open positions is illegal and a violation of The Immigration and Nationality Act’s anti-discrimination provisions. These provisions require most employers to consider people who are not U.S. citizens for open positions as long as they have a work permit.
Representatives supporting the Immigration and Nationality Act claim that laws that prevent non-citizens from obtaining law enforcement jobs:
“may prevent a considerable number of racial and ethnic minorities – many of whom have valuable foreign language skills – from being hired by law enforcement agencies,”
This violation was noticed when the Denver Sheriff’s department illegally required deputy sheriff applicants to be U.S. citizens and posted job ads with citizenship requirements. The requirements were posted as part of a campaign to recruit new officers that ran from Jan. 1, 2015, to March 23.
Denver sheriff spokesman Simon Crittle states that the department was unaware that they were unaware that they broke the law but they are apologetic and plan to fully cooperate and take responsibility for their actions. Crittle told reporters:
“While we didn’t commit this violation intentionally, we accept responsibility and are taking steps to clarify policy and amend language in hiring documents,”
Denver isn’t the first city to fall victim to these stipulations. The Eugene Oregon Police Department was forced to pay hefty fines and retrain their entire staff in August 2015 after the Department of Justice discovered Oregon police were asking applicants about their citizenship status and disqualifying non-citizens.