Mar. 6, 2013
Elected Officials, Immigrant Advocates Call for Stronger Protections for Immigrant Workers
New report reveals California immigrant workers are routinely subject to retaliation by employers
On Wednesday, March 6th at 10:30 am in Capitol Room 317, legislators, labor leaders and immigrant rights groups will call for stronger protections for California’s immigrant workers. At the press conference, the National Employment Law Center will be releasing a new report, Workers' Rights on ICE: How Immigration Reform Can Stop Retaliation and Advance Labor Rights--California, from that shows California’s immigrant workers are routinely subject to abuse and retaliation from unscrupulous employers.Read More >
Feb. 26, 2013 | Posted by: Eunice Cho
New Report Exposes How Employers Take Advantage of Broken Immigration System to Exploit Workers
Study details how employers use immigration enforcement to retaliate against workers, and points to opportunities for reform in current immigration debate.
New York—With immigration reform under serious consideration in Congress, a report released Tuesday by the National Employment Law Project exposes how current immigration policies intended to stop employers from hiring undocumented workers have instead allowed unscrupulous employers to evade both immigration and labor laws.
Through nearly two-dozen case studies, the report paints a shocking picture of how employers use immigration enforcement, or the threat of it, to retaliate against workers who seek to exercise their basic workplace rights. In many instances, workers who tried to collect unpaid wages, report safety violations, escape abuse by their employers, or organize in the workplace were detained and deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with little recourse for their labor rights.
Former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis endorsed the findings of the report. “As U.S. labor secretary, my top priority was to protect the labor rights of all workers, including those seeking a path to citizenship,” Solis said. “We must never allow immigration status to be used as a weapon to silence the courageous individuals who stand up against wage theft and other labor abuses. While I’m proud of the protections that the Labor Department has put in place for immigrant workers, there is still more to do. The protections we pioneered at the Labor Department need to be included as part of immigration reform.”Read More >
Feb. 21, 2013
Significant Abuses of Migrant Workers Uncovered in Fair and Carnival Industry
Families across the United States remember with nostalgia the food, rides, and atmosphere of the local fairs and carnivals, but hidden behind the memories and bright lights are migrant workers who pay a high price to create these experiences. On the United Nations World Day of Social Justice, the American University Washington College of Law Immigrant Justice Clinic and Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM) released a report, Taken for a Ride: Migrant Workers in the U.S. Fair and Carnival Industry, that describes the abuses of migrant workers who form the backbone of one of America's favorite pastimes. The information for the report was gathered using in-depth interviews of migrant fair and carnival workers.Read More >
FILED UNDER: Immigrant Workers
Feb. 15, 2013
New NELP Fact Sheet: Immigration Status and Pay Documentation
The National Employment Law Project has issued a new fact sheet based on a statstically reliable survey of over 4,000 low-wage workers that discusses the availability of work history documentation for those who work in contingent and low-wage sectors.
When advocating for a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States--8 million of who are engaged in the workforce, legislative details will matter in determing how many undocumented immigrants will eventually qualify for citizenship.
The National Employment Law Project supports immigration reform proposals that base eligibility for adjustment of status based on physical presence in the United States, and not on any past or future employment requirements. In particular, such proposals should provide flexible standards for documentary evidence in support of applications for citizenship. Legislation must include coverage of workers in “contingent” jobs such as day laborers, domestic workers, caregivers, and agricultural workers and those who might have difficulty proving their presence in the United States. Valid evidence should include records received from employers, including pay stubs or time sheets, and records maintained by unions and from membership organizations such as worker centers and religious organizations.
Feb. 1, 2013
Upcoming Conference on Food and Immigrant Life
The New School's Center for Public Scholarship is sponsoring a conference on Food and Immigrant Life: The Role of Food in Forced Migration, Migrant Labor, and Recreating Home, on April 18-19, 2013 at The New School in New York City.
The conference will examine the complex relationships between food and migration. Food scarcity is not only at the root of much human displacement and migration—the food industry also offers immigrants an entry point into the U.S. economic system and it, simultaneously, confines migrants to low wages and poor, if not unsafe, work conditions. In addition, food allows immigrants to maintain their cultural identity. The conference places issues of immigration and food service work in the context of a broader social justice agenda and explores the cultural role food plays in expressing cultural heritage.
The keynote address will be given by Dolores Huerta, co-founder and first Vice President Emeritus of United Farm Workers of America, on Thursday, April 18 at 6:00pm. The complete conference program and speakers' bios are available online.Read More >