Because Faith-Based Covenant Transport And Their Subsidiary Transport Management Services Insist On Requiring Verifiable Immigration Status Documentation For Hiring, The Company Is Being Fined $700,000 By The U.S. Government.
Image Credit: Covenant Logistics / Facebook
The Tennessee Conservative [By Kelly M. Jackson] –
As recently reported by local news, a faith-based trucking company in Chattanooga called Covenant Transport and their affiliate, Transport Management Services LLC were found by federal investigators to have violated the part of the Immigration and Nationality Act that relates to verifying I-9 documentation.
Based on information found on this federal website, the federal government compels companies to accept documentation that “reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting them.” It continues, “To do otherwise could be an unfair immigration-related employment practice that violates the anti-discrimination provision in the INA. You must not treat individuals who look and/or sound foreign differently in the recruiting, hiring, or verification process.”
The INA, or the Immigration and Nationality Act, an LBJ era law, was enacted and at that time removed the “de-facto” (practices that exist in fact regardless of whether or not it is officially acknowledged) discrimination against Southern and Eastern Europeans as well as Asians. President Johnson signed it into law in October of 1965.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 created a seven-category “preference system” that gives priority to relatives and children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, professionals and other individuals with specialized skills, and refugees.
Under the INA, in November 1986, an addition was made that compelled all employers to complete and retain Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification, for every person they hire for employment, so long as the person works for pay.
In the case of Covenant and its subsidiary Transport Management, they were, according to investigators of the federal government, on a “routine basis” requiring non-U.S. citizens to produce their Permanent Resident Cards (Green card) or documents related to their immigration status.
Both forms of identification would objectively seem to be more verifiable than another document that is subjectively scrutinized by the employer since the federal government would have a record of the application and approval of a Permanent Resident Card, or any other document that relates to a person’s immigration status.
Because the companies insisted on utilizing verifiable documentation, and not whatever document the individual who presents it chooses, the company is being fined by the US Government $700,000.
A review of Covenant’s website allows the observer to make note of the information the company provides regarding its faith- based roots.
Under “Covenant’s Beginnings” it states, “In 1986, David and his wife Jacqueline had a vision to start their own trucking company. David made an agreement (a covenant) with God: they would run the business “the right way,” if God would provide. David and Jacqueline Parker invested their hard-earned seed money to start Covenant Transport, with 25 trucks and 50 trailers.”
Additionally, under their section labeled “Corporate Culture” it says, “They built Covenant’s corporate culture around these three values: treat others as you want to be treated (empathy), put others before yourself (servanthood), and do business with integrity, honesty, and fairness in all situations (virtue)…. These values are driven by a common goal: to keep America’s shelves stocked and her markets moving.”
The reports from local news don’t elaborate on exactly what Covenant and its subsidiary specifically did to violate the vague language in the law, referring to documentation that “reasonably appears” to have a relationship to the person trying to use it as proof they qualify for employment.
It appears that the government decided to qualify Covenant’s decision to favor verifiable documentation, over documentation that is subjectively chosen, and then subjectively verified, as “unfair discrimination” under the law. Which would then give them license to penalize the company for what is at best a nuanced distinction in the language of the law.
It is also not beyond the scope of believability that perhaps Covenant’s profession of faith and their effort to act in accordance with that faith that caused them to become a target for what has become in recent years, a notoriously overzealous justice department when it considers matters involving conservatives.
If there are any further developments, we will make that information available to our readers.
About the Author: Kelly Jackson is a recent escapee from corporate America, and a California refugee to Tennessee. Christ follower, Wife and Mom of three amazing teenagers. She has a BA in Comm from Point Loma Nazarene University, and has a background in law enforcement and human resources. Since the summer of 2020, she has spent any and all free time in the trenches with local grassroots orgs, including Mom’s for Liberty Williamson County and Tennessee Stands as a core member. Outspoken advocate for parents rights, medical freedom, and individual liberty. Kelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.