The Justice Department announced Friday that it had signed a pledge with Ecuador to teach immigrants from that country how to file complaints charging discrimination based on their citizenship status. The pledge, called a "memorandum of understanding," makes no disctinction between those legally living in the country and those who are not.

"The signing of today's historic [memorandum of understanding] marks a critical stride of progress in the dynamic partnership between our countries," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta. "Together, we will continue to advance our shared commitment to empowering workers, combating unlawful discrimination and protecting the rights of our people."

The pledge requires the Justice Department to work with Ecuadorian officials to provide its nationals with "access to education and training resources" to help them understand how to file complaints under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, which prohibits discrimination based on immigration status. The agreement requires the department to work with country's officials to create a referral system for allegations of discrimination and retaliation by employers.

The announcement said the deal "seeks to empower work-authorized Ecuadorians in the United States." However, nothing in the memorandum itself specifies "work authorized" or otherwise limits it to Ecuadorian nationals legally residing in the U.S.

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