-Bank of America illegally denied employment to a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient, intentionally rejecting the job applicant because of his DACA status, according to a federal lawsuit filed this week in Charlotte.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund sued the Charlotte-based bank for discrimination on behalf of 27-year-old Brazil native Daniel Marques, who said he applied in 2016 for a position in the company’s Merrill Lynch unit. A Bank of America recruiter interviewed Marques but later told him his DACA status disqualified him from further consideration for the job, the suit says.

In a statement, the nation’s second-largest bank by assets said it does not have any prohibition on hiring individuals with DACA status.

“We will review this particular situation,” Bank of America said.

According to the lawsuit, Marques majored in finance and graduated in 2013 with a 3.4 grade point average from the College of Business and Public Management at Kean University in New Jersey, where he lives.

Marques, who was legally authorized to work in the U.S., applied for a job as a practice management development associate within Merrill Lynch, according to the suit.

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During an interview, the recruiter told Marques she was impressed by his application but that he was required to be able to work in the U.S. “without limitations,” the suit says.

Marques explained his federal work permit was renewable every two years, and the recruiter said she would refer the matter to her manager and operations manager, according to the suit. Weeks later, the recruiter called Marques to say he was disqualified based on his DACA status.

The suit also seeks class-action status, claiming that Bank of America denies employment opportunities to entire categories of people authorized to work in the U.S. That list includes those with authorized asylum status, trafficking survivors and relatives of visa holders, the suit says.

It’s the third lawsuit filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in the past year over alleged employer discrimination against DACA recipients.

In July, the group sued Procter & Gamble on behalf of a former college student who claimed he was denied a paid internship based on his DACA status.

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Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts


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