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Sessions Rules Refugees, Asylum Seekers Have No Right To Work

July 11, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

WASHINGTON—Attorney General Jeff Sessions, this past week, rescinded 2011 Department of Justice guidelines that said refugees and asylum-seekers have the right to work in the U.S.

A smiling AG Jeff Sessions.

The “guidance document” issued by the department’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, stated that both groups of people who meet all the eligibility requirements for refugee resettlement are “authorized to work indefinitely” and are “qualified to receive Social Security cards without employment restrictions.” It also said employers could not refuse to hire refugees or asylum seekers who had not yet received a Social Security number, and couldn’t run their names through the E-Verify system until they got one. That guidance document was among 24 the department said it was rescinding because they were “unnecessary, outdated, inconsistent with existing law, or otherwise improper.” In previous administrations, Sessions said in a statement, “agencies often tried to impose new rules on the American people without any public notice or comment period, simply by sending a letter or posting a guidance document on a Website.”

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July 11, 2018

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