The U.S. Department of Justice is suing a Colorado company for its hiring practices. The DOJ announced the lawsuit on Sept. 28.
The complaint alleges that Crop Production, based in Loveland, has violated rules for H2-B visas, discriminating against at least three U.S. citizens and instead hiring foreign seasonal workers, according to the Pueblo Chieftain.
The suit is the first of President Donald Trump's "Buy American and Hire American" effort, which targets companies that hire foreign workers instead of American citizens.
"The Department of Justice will not tolerate employers who discriminate against U.S. workers because of a desire to hire temporary foreign visa holders," said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
"Where there is a job available, U.S. workers should have a chance at it before we bring in workers from abroad," Sessions added.
According to an official from the federal Civil Rights Division, the suit against Crop Production is one of 29 similar investigations. The official said the investigations probe "potential discrimination against U.S. workers based on a hiring preference for foreign visa workers."
On April 18, Trump signed an executive order as part of his push for "Buy American and Hire American" policies, which tightened restrictions around awarding visas to skilled foreign workers, The Washington Post reports. The order also directed the U.S. government to enforce rules preventing contractors from bidding on federal projects.
At the time, Trump said the executive order "declares that the policy of our government is to aggressively promote and use American-made goods and to ensure that American labor is hired to do the job."
“We're going to do everything in our power to make sure more products are stamped with those wonderful words 'Made in the USA,'" said the president while speaking at the headquarters of Wisconsin-based toolmaker Snap-on. "For too long we've watched as our factories have been closed and our jobs have been sent to faraway lands."
Nicholas Pinchuk, the CEO of Snap-on, said: "We are today in a global competition for jobs. And, the best way to make America successful in this environment is to arm our people with the technical capabilities that enable them to win that global contest for prosperity," CNN reports.
A senior administration official said Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" push had support from a number of labor groups.
"Those are two very specific policy positions that have long been advocated by many groups that represent workers in our country in particular by many labor unions and labor groups in our country," the official said in April.
"Both 'buy American' and 'hire American' rules have been enormously diluted over time, resulting in many lost job opportunities for American workers," an administration official said, according to CNN.