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The Justice Department has slapped The Denver Sheriff Department with a $10,000 fine for excluding non-citizens from its hiring practices last year. Denver’s Sheriff’s Department has agreed to pay the fine.

The the announcement form the Department of Justice came Monday, and noted that the department had violated the Immigration and Nationality Act when it made United States citizenship a prerequisite for job applicants.

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“The Justice Department’s investigation found that from approximately Jan. 1, 2015, until approximately March 23, 2016, the Denver Sheriff Department discriminated based on citizenship status by requiring applicants for deputy sheriff positions to be U.S. citizens and publishing job postings with U.S. citizenship requirements, in violation of the INA,” the DOJ wrote in a statement.

“The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from limiting jobs to U.S. citizens except where the employer is required to do so by law, regulation, executive order or government contract.  The Denver Sheriff Department was not subject to one of the INA’s exceptions.”

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The Denver Sheriff Department is the largest in Colorado. It hired 200 deputies from 2015 to March of this year. During the hiring spree, applications from non-citizens were not considered for employment. After the settlement, the department will have to sift back through all of the applicants and find any who were rejected for their citizenship status. Those who were rejected will have to be considered for future openings within the department.

In addition to the $10,000 fine, the department will have to retrain hiring personnel based on the stipulations of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s anti-discrimination elements.

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“Eliminating this unlawful citizenship requirement will help ensure that the Denver Sheriff Department hires the best and most qualified individuals to protect and serve. The entire community will benefit from these reforms,” wrote Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

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Critics of the hiring policy are questioning just how non-citizens are going to handle some aspects of law enforcement–especially those that could pose a conflict of interest. Denver is a major hub for the northern migration of illegals moving up from New Mexico.

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The non-citizens in question here are not illegals, but individuals working and living in this country legally. It is unclear how many non-citizens currently work in law enforcement roles in the country.

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