By Dr. Steven B. DavidSon, TX -The nation has selected its first African American president. However, the president has inherited a bastion of discrimination in the Federal Government according Dr. Steven B. DavidSon. DavidSon, who has worked in the Immigration Department since 1998 with a federal career for 35 years, has filed a class complaint against the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) alleging that African-Americans have been subject to individual and systemic discrimination for management positions.
According to DavidSon, Immigration and Naturalization operations have an extensive history, but without a record of African-American managers in regional offices. Nationwide, the regional offices have approximately 200 employees with about forty managers. According to DavidSon the USCIS organization, which was transitioned into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), was the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) Adjudication operation responsible for immigrant benefits. Apparently, regions were reconstituted with the new organization, but with the same results, no African-American managers.
DavidSon's complaint cites the Regional office in Dallas, Texas where he is employed. He identifies the office as an example where highly qualified African-American candidates have been passed by less qualified white candidates. "We are not talking about disgruntled complainers, low-performers, uneducated, and inexperienced candidates here." DavidSon's complaint alleges USCIS managers have continued the discriminatory practices of the old INS organization. The complaint cites USCIS' Management Directive 715 reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where it discloses that minorities are underrepresented in high grade positions, and official and management positions. It also discloses that African Americans are terminated disproportionately. The complaint further cites several other personnel practices adversely affecting African Americans. Davidson continued, "Considering that African Americans in grades 14 and 15 are not nearly as underrepresented in the Department of Homeland Security as-a-whole, their under-representation in USCIS regional offices is revealing." Asked about any personal fears, DavidSon is resolute. "Retaliation in any of its forms is a major concern, but we must stay the course."
DavidSon managed one of the nation's largest federal, field-level Civil Rights, EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) programs in the early 1980s at the Naval Air Rework Facility in Alameda, California. There he witnessed first-hand a precedent setting class complaint, Moses Saunders vs. Department of Navy.
"I never thought I'd ever witness anything so deplorable again. It is the most unfortunate organizational malady any segment of a workforce can experience. And a complaint of this nature is the kind of organizational virus that can spread like a Santa Anta wild fire." According to DavidSon, immigration offices are practically in every urban area in the United States, but the representation of African-American managers is so poor, the complaint could be amended to cover the whole department. DavidSon cites EEO reports, which disclose that civil rights complaints cost the federal government millions-a-year where managers are not transparent, manipulate the promotional system, and resort to vague or highly subjective decision criteria to mask discriminatory bias.
Concerning the status of the complaint DavidSon continues, "The complaint is before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for certification consideration, and the Office of Civil Rights and Inclusion at the Department of Homeland Security. Ironically, the Office of Civil Rights is typically where attorneys will defend the agency's practices as opposed to using the experience as a serious opportunity to institute lasting improvements. According to Washington DC area Attorneys Michael Snider, and Morris Fischer the chances of the agency deciding in favor of complainants is 'next to nil.'"
"Our desire is to see organizational improvements, and to make-whole injured parties. Nevertheless, the fact that something like this could exist in the federal government or anywhere should be appalling to conscientious national leaders, and particularly the White House."
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