Immigration reform is the latest hot topic in Washington, but in the debate, precious little has been said about protecting immigrant workers’ right to organize. Earlier this month, my organization, along with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), went to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to protect that right. Too often, abusive employers exploit our broken immigration system in order to break basic labor laws with impunity. They perpetuate illegal working conditions by using workers’ immigration status to intimidate and threaten them into silence.

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