Robbed on the job: Advice on fighting wage theft | Marketplace.org

Every year millions of Americans are victims of what some call wage theft — a practice in which a company fails to compensate workers for their time, short-changes them on their benefits or intentionally misclassifies employees in order to save money. And even though all that is illegal, Kim Bobo, executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice and author of “Wage Theft in America,” says it’s surprisingly common in the U.S. “Minimum wage and overtime violations are two of the most common ways that wage theft occurs. Another way is payroll fraud, when employers intentionally call people independent contractors when they are really employees. Now if your boss — not you — declares you an independent contractor, you probably aren’t one. Then there is also tip stealing. About 10 percent of tipped workers actually don’t get their tips; their employers just don’t give it to them,” says Bobo. “This is really a crime wave in the nation. And it’s a crime wave that we don’t recognize.”

After Sandy, immigrant groups keeping an eye out for abuse of laborers

Nearly a month after superstorm Sandy, ask immigrant labor rights advocacy groups say they’re unaware of any cases of day laborers being denied payment for work related to recovery efforts. “I’m not hearing anything right now that they’re not getting paid, pharm ” said Stuart Sydenstricker of Wind of the Spirit, an immigrant resource center in Morristown. “But it could take a few more weeks to come out.” Sydenstricker and Diana Mejia, also of Wind of the Spirit, document incidents of wage theft or injuries among immigrant laborers — many of whom speak little or no English — that otherwise might go unreported. Part of the problem with officially tracking such incidents is that the state does not and cannot make inquiries at work sites about workers’ immigration status. Consequently, it’s not possible to say whether undocumented laborers are performing work, according to Department of Labor spokesman Brian T. Murray. If a worker complained of being ripped off for wages by a contractor…

5 immigration stories to watch in 2013 and beyond | 89.3 KPCC

Last year delivered some milestones in U.S. immigration history – including a historic demographic shift, fueled by immigration, as the children of nonwhite parents became the majority of babies born in this country. Also for the first time, more than 100,000 young people who arrived in the United States as minors are living out of the shadows after obtaining temporary legal status through deferred action, a new program that lets young undocumented immigrants who qualify live and work legally in the U.S. And in late June, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision in the case of Arizona v. United States, upholding the most contested provision of Arizona’s trendsetting SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law. But the issue of states’ rights in setting their own immigration policies remains in flux as new controversies arise.

‘Reyes Magos’ recurren al gobernador Brown – laopinion.com

Los Reyes Magos llegaron ayer al Capitolio para visitar al gobernador Jerry Brown pero en lugar de regalarle oro, incienso y mirra como lo hicieron los hombres de oriente en Belén —según la tradición—, le entregaron una pluma gigante para que firme el Acta de Confianza, la iniciativa que podría frenar las deportaciones de inmigrantes sin delitos serios. “Queríamos estar aquí en el primer día de sesiones (legislativas) y motivar al gobernador a firmar el Acta de Confianza para dejarle saber que la comunidad está muy preocupada porque hemos visto muchas familias para quienes los días de fiesta fueron tristes debido a las deportaciones”, dijo la reverendo Debbie Lee, de la Coalición Interreligiosa por los Derechos de los Inmigrantes. En cuanto a la posibilidad de sensibilizar al gobernador con esta acción, Lee señaló: “Sabemos que tiene un corazón religioso y que esta temporada significa algo para él, así que estamos tratando de lograrlo con esto”.

New Study: US Spends More on Immigration Enforcement Than on Top Federal Criminal Law Enforcement Agencies Combined

A report issued today by the Migration Policy Institute finds that the federal government spends more on immigration enforcement than it does on the FBI, DEA, Secret Service, US Marshalls, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives combined. It also finds that more people are detained each year in immigration detention facilities than are…

New ICE Detainer Guidance Too Little, Too Late

On the Friday before Christmas, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released new guidance on immigration “detainers, online ” the lynchpin of agency enforcement programs involving cooperation with local police. In the new guidance, ICE Director John Morton instructed agency employees to only file detainers against immigrants who represent agency “priorities.” Unfortunately, as with prior agency memos on prosecutorial discretion, the detainer guidance is so riddled with loopholes that it could have little—if any—practical effect. The new guidance defines “priorities” so broadly as to make the term virtually meaningless. As is now well known, immigration detainers are requests (not commands) sent by ICE to local jails asking for selected inmates to be held even after they would otherwise be entitled to release. Although the federal government has issued detainers for decades, their use has become especially common following the expansion of Se Communities…

A safer route to se communities – PressDemocrat

Federal immigration authorities quietly announced a new policy just before Christmas that promises to ease conflicts with local law enforcement agencies while targeting violent criminals for deportation. The new Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency policy mirrors what was promised four years ago when the Se Communities program was launched. ICE will review fingerprints from people arrested by local police, and it will seek custody of people believed to be in the United States illegally if they have committed a serious crime or are repeat offenders. In practice, ICE has detained and deported thousands of people with no criminal record or who have been arrested for petty offenses such as traffic violations. In Sonoma County, 47 percent of the people turned over to immigration agents in the first year of the program hadn’t been convicted of the crimes that landed them in jail.