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New Report from Labor Groups Makes Case for Immigration Reform

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Today, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), American Rights at Work (ARAW), and the National Employment Law Project (NELP) are releasing a report, “ICED Out: How Immigration Enforcement Has Interfered with Workers’ Rights,” which documents, according to the ARAW press advisory:

How the federal government’s approach to immigration enforcement in the recent past has severely undermined efforts to protect workers’ rights, to the detriment of immigrant and native-born workers alike.

The reports examines the Bush Administration’s workplace immigration enforcement actions between 2006 and 2008 and it describes, in devastating detail, the problems associated with prioritizing immigration enforcement over labor law enforcement. 

Contributing authors Ana Avendaño (AFL-CIO), Julia Martinez Ortega (ARAW), and Rebecca Smith (NELP), will be joined by two immigrant workers, Josue Diaz and Saravan Chelvan at AFL-CIO headquarters today in Washington DC to discuss the report’s findings and recommendations — primarily, “how the division between labor and immigration enforcement has eroded, and what the administration and federal agencies can do to restore the balance.”According to Smith:

In recent years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have taken actions against workers who complained about non-payment of wages, who were injured on the job, trying to exercise collective bargaining rights or who were victims of discrimination. The single-minded focus on immigration enforcement has allowed employers to profit by employing a workforce too terrified to make complaints.  The report recommends common-sense rules that will provide policy coherence between enforcement of immigration laws and protection of labor rights.