A Yonkers man was denied an internship after his prospective employer found out he had been an undocumented immigrant, according to a class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court.
Northwestern Mutual was on the verge of hiring Ruben Juarez, 25, for a financial representative internship until it asked for his papers, the suit says. Juarez — a Mexican immigrant who had obtained a Social Security number and work permit in 2012 via an executive order by President Obama to help those who immigrated as children — was happy to oblige, his suit claims.
A Northwestern Mutual representative then asked Juarez whether he had a green card or was a U.S. citizen, and when the Lehman College grad explained his status, the company told him to get lost, telling him he didn’t meet its immigration status requirements, according to the discrimination suit. Juarez, who arrived in the U.S. when he was 9, said, “I thought (Obama’s order) was going to make a difference, but it didn’t.”
The suit seeks back pay, damages and an order forcing Northwestern Mutual to mend its alleged misconduct. “This lawsuit should serve as a warning that employers cannot pick and choose (which) verification documents or residency histories they will accept,” said the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s Victor Viramontes.
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