The following is the text of a February 7, 2014, technical assistance letter issued by the Justice Department’s Office of Special Counsel. To access this and other technical assistance letters, go to http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/htm/techletters.php.
Text of the letter:
Thank you for contacting the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (HOSC”). This is in response to your email to Byron Wong, dated January 8, 2014. For future reference, you may wish to email written inquiries to OSC’s email inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In your email and follow-up clarification, you ask several questions pertaining to “Driver Authorization/Driver Privilege Cards,” which you describe as cards issued by states “to individuals who are unable to document proof of lawful status,” often to individuals who are not authorized to work in the United States. You further explain that “different States currently or may in the future have different formats for these documents and/or annotations that specifically reference whether such documents are acceptable for federal identification purposes on the face of the documents.”
Specifically, you ask whether: (1) such cards “constitute acceptable List B documents to evidence identity during the Form 1-9 completion process;” (2) an employer may employ an individual who presents this type of card given that “such documents are statistically issued to predominantly undocumented individuals;” and (3) an employer employing an individual who has shown this type of card for 1-9 or other purposes might be deemed to have knowingly employed an individual who is not authorized to work in the United States.
OSC enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), as amended, 8 U.S.C. § 1324b. The anti-discrimination provision prohibits citizenship or immigration status discrimination, national origin discrimination, unfair documentary practices (“document abuse”) during the employment eligibility verification (Form 1-9) process, and retaliation for filing a charge or asserting rights under the anti-discrimination provision. More information on OSC, including a number of OSC technical assistance letters on the topic of pre-employment inquiries, can be found on our website: www.iusticc.gov/crt/about/osc.