Education and Enforcement of the Antidiscrimination Provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act

To educate employers and workers about their rights and responsibilities under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which prohibits employment discrimination based on citizenship status and national origin, and unfair documentary practices with respect to verification of employment eligibility.
Examples of Funded Projects

Colorado Legal Services of Denver, CO; Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; Catholic Charities of Dallas, Dallas, TX; National Immigration Law Center (NILC) of Los Angeles, CA; Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA; Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach, W.

Palm Beach, FL; Legal Services of South Central Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, Legal Aid of Nebraska, Omaha, NE; Nachman & Associates, Ridgewood, NJ; New York City Human Rights Commission, New York, NY; and The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs of Washington, D.


Agency - Department of Justice

The Department of Justice enforces the law and defends the interest of the United States, ensuring public safety against threats foreign and domestic; providing Federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; seeking just punishment for those guilty of unlawful pursuits; and ensuring fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

Program Accomplishments

In fiscal year 2007, the Office of Special Counsel continued to conduct outreach activities, including providing grant funds to community-based and nonprofit organizations and government entities to educate employers, employees, immigrant service providers and the general public about employer and immigrant rights and responsibilities under the anti-discrimination provision. OSC staff members made numerous educational presentations across the country, which included presentations sponsored by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, OSC grantees, state and local fair employment practices agencies, unions, and employer and worker organizations. Directly and through its grantees, OSC participated in 843 outreach presentations during the fiscal year. In addition, the OSC maintained its 50 memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with state and local jurisdictions to promote the protection of immigrant worker rights. During the fiscal year, OSC initiated 165 charges of discrimination and independent investigations, ultimately resolving 89 matters through dismissal, settlement or letters of resolution. In addition, OSC received over 29,797 calls on its worker and employer hotlines, and was able on many occasions to save the jobs of authorized workers or assist employers in modifying their employment eligibility verification procedures to comply with the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The anti-discrimination provisions of the INA prohibit employment discrimination based upon national origin and citizenship status against U. S. citizens and other legally authorized workers with respect to hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee, and unfair documentary practices during verification of employment eligibility.

The INA also prohibits retaliation for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by the anti-discrimination provisions, or because an individual has participated in a proceeding to enforce those provisions.

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) was created by Congress to enforce these provisions, and to educate the public about its responsibilities and rights under the law.

The goal of OSC's grant program is to educate workers and employers about the anti-discrimination provisions of the INA in order to reduce incidents of employment discrimination.

Grants are open to all applicants including labor and immigrant organizations, small and large businesses and associations, employer groups and associations, public service or community-based organizations, faith-based organizations and state and local government agencies.

The INA's prohibition against citizenship status discrimination applies to employers with more than three employees, and covers: (1) U. S. citizens and nationals; (2) lawful permanent residents; (3) temporary residents under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, including Special Agricultural Worker program (SAW) and Replenishment Agricultural Worker program (RAW); (4) refugees and (5) asylees.

The INA's prohibition against national origin discrimination applies to employers with four to 14 employees and covers U. S. citizens, and all individuals with work authorization.

Employers with 15 or more employees are subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.

2000e, et seq., Which also prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin, and is enforced by the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Charges incorrectly filed with OSC are automatically referred to the EEOC and vice versa.

The INA's prohibition against unfair documentary practices applies to employers with more than three employees, and protects U. S. citizens and all individuals with work authorization.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The OSC welcomes grant proposals from organizations such as local, regional, and national ethnic and immigrant rights advocacy organizations, labor organizations, trade associations, industry groups, professional organizations, state and local government agencies, employer organizations and associations, and others, including for-profit entities, that provide information services to potential victims of discrimination and/or employers.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The educational efforts under the grant should be cost effective and directed to (1) work-authorized non-citizens (since this group is especially vulnerable to employment discrimination); (2) citizens who are most likely to become victims of prohibited employment discrimination under the INA; and/or (3) employers, especially small businesses.


Not applicable.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

The applicant must submit the following forms electronically through Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424); Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying (SF LLL), and Assurances (DOJ/OJP Form 4000/3). In addition, the application package must include an abstract, a program narrative not to exceed 15 pages, a proposed budget, and resumes of professional staff proposed in the budget.

Award Procedures

Federal officials will review and rate grant applications according to standards published in the announcement of availability of funds posted on Final award decisions are made by the Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, or in the absence of the Special Counsel, by the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.


Contact the Office of Special Counsel listed below.


Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. Section 1324b.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

4 to 5 months.




Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula or matching requirement.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

12 months. Funds are released quarterly.

Post Assistance Requirements


Quarterly Financial and Categorical Assistance Project Reports are required.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, (Revised, June 24, 1997), ("Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations,") nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $300,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for the year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Any documents related to the items of expenses under the grant.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $725,000; FY 08 est $710,500; and FY 09 est $750,000. (Salaries and Expenses) FY 07 $4,672,000; FY 08 est $4,693,000,; and FY 09 est $4,832,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

For grants approved in FY 07, the range was $40,000 to $90,000, average $65,909 ($725,000/11). For FY 08 the grant program announced range is $35,000 to $100,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

8 U.S.C. 1324b.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division-NYA, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, 950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20530. Telephone: (voice) (202) 616-5594, (TDD) (202) 616-5525; toll-free: (voice) (1-800) 255-7688, (TDD) 1-800- 237-2515.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The standards for making grant awards are published in the solicitation posted on (see Award Procedure). Included among them are: 1) sound program design and cost-effective strategies for educating the intended population, including evidence of in-depth knowledge of the goals and objectives of the project, and the applicant's qualifications to reach effectively the intended audience(s); 2) capability of the applicant to define the intended audience, reach it, and implement the public education and evaluation components of the campaign; 3) staff capability and previous experience in having successfully carried out programs or work of a similar nature.

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