For Immediate Release // Please Excuse Cross Posting
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Contact: Contact: Viridiana Vidal, firstname.lastname@example.org, 702-206-2110
New York, NY — In response to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security memo on worksite enforcement (memo online here), NDLON Co-Executive Director Nadia Marin-Molina made the following statement:
“Secretary Mayorkas’s memo indicates DHS has begun to recognize the direct conflict between immigration enforcement and the protection of workers rights in the US. It is long past time for DHS to stop enabling employers who use the threat of deportation as a tool to facilitate exploitation and evade accountability. Immigrant workers kept the lights on in this country during a pandemic, and they were essentially told by the government they should work to death without basic rights so that others could live.
“By ending worksite raids and acknowledging that workers should not have to endure the threat of deportation when they courageously come forward to report labor violations, this policy begins to move the country in the right direction. However, more must be done, minimally, to ensure that the enforcement of racist and outdated immigration laws does not continue to undermine labor standards for all workers. Particularly because Congress seems incapable of achieving statutory reform, DHS and the Department of Labor should work together to deconflict immigration and labor enforcement by offering a clear unequivocal process to incentivize and protect immigrant whistleblowers at the workplace.
“During a time of unprecedented fear and division when demagogue politicians and predatory employers seem to be the only ones benefiting from the status quo, a policy that empowers immigrant workers to defend labor standards for everyone would be a unifying force in our politics.
“Construction workers in Las Vegas, poultry workers in Mississippi, and day laborers and domestic workers nationwide who have been raising these issues will continue their push for a day when they can access basic labor rights without fear, regardless of immigration status.”