FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2022
Email: [email protected]
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458
National Immigration Law Center and More Than 330 Organizations Call on Biden Administration to Release Guidance that Enables Workers Involved in Labor Disputes to Apply for Deferred Action
WASHINGTON — The National Immigration Law Center and over 330 immigrants’, civil, and labor rights organizations sent a letter calling on U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to follow through on the agency’s commitment to clarify the process for workers asserting their workplace rights against abusive employers to access temporary protections, including protection from deportation and work authorization.
More than a year after DHS stated its commitment to protect workers through deferred action in its memo on worksite enforcement, the letter published today by NILC underscores the urgency for DHS to release its guidance. The letter also includes key recommendations for an effective and equitable process, such as recognition of state and local labor agencies’ investigations, and joint filing of deferred action and work authorization requests.
“We have long seen how workers’ vulnerability to deportation impedes their ability to speak out about labor violations and build power on the job, which in turn drives down wages and working conditions and undermines the enforcement of our country’s core labor standards to the detriment of all workers,” the letter said.
“This guidance is urgently needed, as every day that goes by without it, unscrupulous employers exploit workers and cheat the system in order to turn a profit,” the letter continued. “These employers must be held accountable, and workers must see a clear commitment from DHS so that they can indeed be “unafraid to cooperate” with labor agencies. We work directly with many workers who are unwilling to come forward without clear guidance from DHS.”
A PDF of the full letter and signatories can be found here.