DoJ Settles Suit Alleging White Male Discrimination

November 18, 2004 ( - The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has settled a discrimination suit brought by white male applicants to immigration judge posts who feel that they were discriminated against in the mid-1990s.

>The settlement is the result of a suit that started with an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint filed in 1996 by a Texas lawyer who claimed that he was denied a job as an immigration judge because he was a white male, according to The National Law Journal (NLJ).  

>In 2002, the case was certified as a class action, with the plaintiffs alleging that the DoJ hired a record number of immigration judges in 1994-1995, but that affirmative action policies unduly hurt their chances at being hired.

>The payment of $11.5 million to 550 white male applicants to immigration court is seen by some analysts as a warning to other agencies that race-based hiring practices are not to be allowed, according to NLJ. Although it denied any wrongdoing and refused comment, the DoJ, some think, is alerting other agencies to the fact that affirmative action can apply to education but to not much else.

>Almost $4 million of the total settlement in Durnford v. Ashcroft will go towards legal fees, according to the NLJ.