Immigrants Claim to Receive Threats of Deportation by Employers

Immigrants Claim to Receive Threats of Deportation by Employers

Through December 22, 2017, California’s Labor Commissioner’s Office had received 94 immigration-related retaliation claims from workers, a figure that was up from 20 complaints in 2016 and only seven complaints in 2015. Many of these claims involve workers whose employers failed to pay them or created other adverse working conditions. When the workers questioned their lack of wages or working conditions, their employers responded with threats to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on the workers due to their suspect immigration status. Other workers reported employers who demanded documents from them that differ from what is required by federal immigration law or refusing to recognize genuine identification documents. Unfortunately, threats like these for the estimated 2.3 million undocumented immigrants in the country are nothing new. The increase in complaints of retaliation by undocumented immigrants may also be attributable to state laws that went into effect in 2014 that specifically barred immigration-related retaliation. A rise in enforcement by ICE and anti-immigration rhetoric full of hatred also may have caused employers to increasingly use ICE as a tool to threaten their employees. Some employers essentially believe that immigrants should not have any rights or deserve any legal protections. Both federal and state laws protect immigrant workers regardless of their immigration status, such as minimum wage laws. Nonetheless, immigrants may be more likely to refrain from complaining to their employers about a lack of pay or other negative work conditions out of fear of retaliation. There is a memorandum of understanding between ICE and the U.S. Department of Labor, stating that ICE will refrain from conducting workplace enforcement when the Labor Department is actively investigating, except in certain circumstances. However, there is no such agreement between the Labor Commissioner’s Office and ICE; therefore, immigrants should not hesitate to report employers who violate their rights. As your case winds its way through the immigration court system, we are dedicated to providing you with the essential legal advice that you need throughout your deportation proceedings. We are here to represent your interests before the immigration court and appeal any adverse decisions, if warranted. We devote all of our efforts to advocating on behalf of you and your family before the immigration court. Don’t hesitate to contact the Bay Area immigration lawyers of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., and set up your legal consultation today. We are here to help.
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