NILC Statement on the Reintroduction of The POWER Act

March 28, 2023

Email: [email protected]
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458

NILC Statement on the Reintroduction of The POWER Act

WASHINGTON — Kica Matos, executive vice president of programs and strategy at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement in response to the reintroduction of the Protect Our Workers from Exploitation and Retaliation (POWER) Act:

“All workers, regardless of their immigration status, deserve safe working conditions and the ability to speak up when their civil or labor rights are violated. The POWER Act is a critical piece of legislation that would defend the rights of immigrant workers, which ultimately creates a better environment for all workers. When more people can safely fight back against abusive employers, worker power and conditions improve for everyone. We call on Congress to pass the POWER Act and help promote fair and safe workplaces for all workers.”

Introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), the POWER Act would help workers exercise their rights to organize for safe working conditions and fair wages without fear of retaliation. Key provisions of the bill include expanding eligibility for U visas for workers who are involved in a workplace claim and who fear or have been threatened with force, physical restraint, serious harm, or other abuses. The POWER Act would also allow stays of removal and employment authorization for workers who have filed or are material witnesses in a workplace claim.

The reintroduction follows the Department of Homeland Security’s January announcement of policy guidance that clarifies and streamlines the process of providing temporary protection for workers involved in labor disputes.