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Issues Immigration

Advocate Honored on King Day - Her Cause: Helping Immigrants Feel Safe at Work Meg Heckman Honoree on MLK Day 2006-01-16
Judy Elliott begins her lessons with words such as safe, dangerous, caution and watch out, simple but crucial terms for the immigrants she helps prepare for jobs in their new country.

California's Immigrant Workers Speak Up About Health And Safety In The Workplace  UCLA LOSH (Labor Occupational Safety & Health Program 2002-12-01
California's Immigrant Workers Speak Up About Health and Safety in the Workplace

Communities Without Borders David Bacon The Migrant Experience 2006-11-01
Press release on David Bacon's new book on the reality of the migrant experience

Community Dialogue on Immigration Reform - Oakland, California David Bacon Immigration Reform 2009-07-15
On Saturday, July 16th, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas visited Oakland's First Congregational Church to hold a dialogue with members of the community, labor organizations and faith groups about her immigration reform proposal - HR 2092, also known as the 'Save America Comprehensive Immigration Act of 2005.

Congress Must Face Reality David Bacon Immigration Legislation, Congress, Senate, House of Representatives, 2006-04-06
Senators Will pat themselves on the back this week, for agreeing to their most pro-corporate, anti-immigrant bill in decades. Thens of thousands of people may be forced to leave the US as a result. Millions more would have to become braceros - guest workers on temporary visas - just to continue to labor in the jobs they've had for years.

DHS Press Release Dept of Homeland Security DHS No-Match Rule 2009-07-08
DHS press release issued July 8, 2009, announced rescinding of No-Match Rule: "DHS will be proposing a new regulation rescinding the 2007 No-Match Rule, which was blocked by court order shortly after issuance and has never taken effect. That rule established procedures that employers could follow if they receive SSA No-Match letters or notices from DHS that call into question work eligibility information provided by employees. These notices most often inform an employer many months or even a year later that an employee's name and Social Security Number provided for a W-2 earnings report do not match SSA records-often due to typographical errors or unreported name changes. E-Verify addresses data inaccuracies that can result in No-Match letters in a more timely manner and provides a more robust tool for identifying unauthorized individuals and combating illegal employment." The AFL-CIO expects that the government will seek a stay of the litigation while it rescinds the rule.

Divided We Fall David Bacon Colorlines 2006-03-03
If Congress' current proposals for immigration reform pass this year or next, will they help the immigrant workers now doing reconstruction on the Gulf Coast? What about the residents hoping to return home - what might these proposals mean for racial divisions already fanned by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and syndicated newspaper columnist Ruben Navarette in the wake of the flood?

Equality, Or Not David Bacon TrouthOut 2006-03-03
Equality has become an unmentionable word in Congress. It doesn't come even once in the 300 page omnibus immigration bill introduced last week by Senator Arlen Specter, nor in any of the others Congress is considering. They all deny equality to millions of people. In the testimony before the Senate Judeiciary Committee, which Specter charis, no one even dares to advocate it. Is this what we stand for?

Foreign Born Workers Katherine Loh & Scott Richardson Trends In Fatal Occupational Injuries 2004-06-01
Monthly Labor Review

From Orchards to the Internet Catherine Ruckelshaus and Bruce Goldstein Confronting Contingent Work Abuse 2002-03-08
Subcontracted Worker Initiative

Homeland Security's Latest Weapon Against Illegal Immigration Could Cost Legal Workers Their Jobs Tori Marlan Homeland Security uses Immigration Against Illegal Immigrants 2008-01-10
There are almost 18 million discrepancies in the social security database, in about 4 percent of all entries, according to a 2006 report by the SSA's own inspectors. An estimated 71 percent of these (nearly 13 million) pertain to the records of U.S. born citizens. This article discusses the problems that workers face because of no-match letters and also the ramifications of the recently-proposed Safe-Harbor Procedures for Employers. Anticipating abuse from unscrupulous employers and confusion among good ones, local organizers and activists (UE, Interfaith Worker Justice, Chicago Workers; Collaborative, and other like-minded organiztions) fromed the Chicago Coalition Against No Match in August. Around this time, UE also launched a no-match hotline to assist workers whose bosses were using the letters as an excuse to threaten or fire them

Hotline to Help Day Laborers Turn In Contractors Who Cheat Ken McLaughlin Police Say Immigrants Deserve Protection 2006-03-06
The city of Santa Cruz, which often takes controversial approaches to social issues, has now established what is believed to be the nation's first hotline for day laborers - most of whom are undocumented - to report unscrupulous employers. The creation of the hotline, announced Monday, swiftly drew complaints from activists who said government should not offer such protections to illegal immigrants. "The number of illegal immigrants is exploding, and this will only encourage more to come," said Yeh Ling-Ling, executive director of the Oakland-based Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America. But police officials, citing reports that employers regularly abuse day laborers, said everyone deserves the protection of the law.

Housecleaner Sues for Back Wages Jay Wein Back Wages 2005-06-08
A Menlo Park woman, with support from La Raza Centro Legal, has filed suit against a former employer, arguing she was abused on the job repeatedly over the last ten years. The employer was allegedly in violation of several workplace safety and compensation regulations.

How U.S. Corporations Won the Debate Over Immigration David Bacon The Debate Over Immigration 2004-11-01
The story documents the way in which over 30 of the largest trade and manufacturing associations in the United States, grouped together in the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, have promoted the vast expansion of guest worker programs. Today, in Congress, at least two major bills, from both Republicans and Democrats, embody proposals that originate with EWIC

Immigrant Workers Empowerment and Community Building Chris Benner, Tony LoPresti, Martha Matsuoka, Manuel Pastor, Rachel Rosner Immigrant Workers 2009-04-23
A review of issues and strategies for increasing workforce and economic opportunity for immigrant workers. April 2005 Center for Justice, Tolerance, & Community

Introduction to NAFFE Strategy Series NAFFE Fair Employment 2009-07-08
North American Alliance for Fair Employment

Invisible to Most, Immigrant Women Line Up for Day Labor Nina Bernstein Stories form Women Immigrant Workers 2005-08-15
Immigrant women line up for day labor on streets of New York City, despite risks; in factories in Manhattan, or to do housecleaning in Williamsburg section of Brookly; experts say such female shape-ups may be only significant ones of their kind in nation--places where women put their personal safety in jeopardy for few hours of work; almost unobserved, these female shape-ups have doubled in size in recent years; their growth reflects larger overlooked reality: women make up 44 percent of nation's low-wage immigrant work force; global patterns indicate that women are easily half the immigrant workers flowing to large metropolitan areas like New York; they depend on one another and their own instincts for safety; women describe their desperation for jobs, and some of their experiences; photos

Judge Rules U.S. Government Not Liable for Migrant Deaths Michael Kiefer Judge Rules Against Immigrant Advocates 2005-07-14
U.S. District Judge John M. Roll dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the U.S. government for the dehydration deaths of 11 undocumented immigrants. The lawsuits blamed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge for their deaths because they denied and application to install "water stations" for immigrants crossing the border. The judge wrote the government 'owed no duty to affirmatively assist trespassers illegally crossing Cabeza Prieta in avoiding the obvious dangers of a hostile desert.'

Kennedy Slams Fatality Rates for Immigrant Workers  Occupational Hazards 2002-02-28
Article on protecting the occupational safety and health of immigrant workers.

Laguna Beach is Sued Over Day Laborer Center Jennifer Delson Laguna Beach sued for providing a Workers' Center for Undocumented Workers 2006-10-04
Conservative advocacy group files suit alleging city violates federal law by funding facility that helps undocumented workers find jobs.

Local Contractor Accused of Defrauding Day Laborers Adam Martin Contractor Accused of Treating Day Laborers Unfairly 2007-03-16
District Attorney Kamala Harris announced charges Thursday against a man who allegedly hired day laborers and then withheld their pay.

Low Pay, High Risk: State Models For Advancing Immigrant Workers' Rights  NELP (National Employment Law Project 2003-11-01
It is estimated that between 28 and 30 million immigrants live in the United States. This is slightly more than 10.4% of the U.S. population.1 Ninety percent of these are of working age.2 Immigrants, both documented and undocumented, work long hours at the lowest-paid and most dangerous jobs in the U.S. economy. One in four low-wage workers in the United States is an immigrant.

Lozano v. City of Hazelton 3:06cv1586 2006-10-31 M.D. Pa SUBJECT: Immigration Law - Municipal Ordinances Targets Undocumented Immigrants
A district court granted a motion for a TRO enjoining the enforcement of two municipal ordinances. One ordinance required residents to obtain "occupancy permits" based on "proper identification showing proof of legal citizenship and/or residency;" the second was aimed at preventing businesses from employing or harboring undocumented workers. The court held that the ordinances threatened irreparable injuries that outweighed the city's enforcement interest, and determined that granting preliminary relief would best serve the public interest. The court further found that serious constitutional claims were raised and that there was a reasonable probability of success on the merits.

Measures To Protect Latino Workers In Illinois Governor Blagojevich Press Release 2005-11-07
Building on his commitment to create safer working environments in Illinois, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced several measures that will help protect the state’s Latino workers from workplace injuries and fatalities. According to national and state research, Latino workers are more likely than other workers to be killed or injured on the job, and foreign-born Latino workers account for two-thirds of all workplace Latino deaths.

NDLON v. Mamaroneck Case No. 06 Civ. 3243 (CM) (MDF) 2006-11-20 USDCt SDNY Judge Rules in Favor of Hispanic Laborers
US District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge ruled in favor of Hispanic laborers in John Does and NDLON v. village of Mamaroneck. A suburban village in NY was found to have discriminated against Hispanic day laborers when they shut down a hiring site and increased police security in areas where they sought work. The village contended that the quality of life for residents, not race, was the reason for heightened police presence. This federal court ruling marks the second victory for day laborers this year.

New Bracero Program is Not the Answer United Farm Workers Senate Votes on Bracero Program Without Listening to Immigrants 2005-07-16
Today, July 26, the U.S. senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on proposals for comprehensive immigration reform. The voices of hardworking immigrants living in the shadows of our society need to be heard.

New York Immigration Coalition Make The Road By Walking Ken McLaughlin Police Say Immigrants Deserve Protection 2006-03-06
Study Documents Dangers of Construction Work in New York; Finds Hazards and Serious Injuries Especially Afflict Immigrant Workers and Workers at Elevated Heights.

On The Corner Abel Valenzuela Jr., Nik Theodore, Edwin Meléndez, Ana Luz Gonzalez Day Labor in the United States 2006-01-01
UCLA Center for the Study of Urban Poverty - January 2006 - The first nationwide study on day laborers found that such workers are a nationwide phenomenon.There are over 117600 people gathering at more than 500 hiring sites to look for work on a typical day.

One-Quarter Of Day Laborers Hurt On Job Jordan Injured Day-Laborers 2005-06-23
...abd more than half cheated out of their wages. In case you had the impression that immigrant day-laborers are exploited and hurt (or killed) on the job, you were right. More than half of day laborers in the Washington area have been cheated out of their wages and one in four has been harmed on the job, according to a study being released today that tries to sketch a portrait of the informal workers. The study is based on the experiences of 476 day laborers in the District, Northern Virginia and Maryland, who were interviewed last year by a team affiliated with the University of California at Los Angeles. It depicts the typical worker as an industrious Latin American man who earns $991 a month.

Post-Katrina Immigrant Workers Sue Michelle Roberts Post-Katrina immigrant workers not given what they were promised 2006-08-17
Immigrants recruited post-Katrina have filed a lawsuit against Decatur Hotels LLC and its officials after promises of financial stability remain unfulfilled. According to the immigrants' attorney, Decatur has not yet reimbursed costly relocation expenses and hardly provides sufficient work hours. The suit also alleges that Decatur has abused their participation in the H-2B visa program, which prevents workers from working with other employers.

Raids Draw Skepticism From Both Sides In Immigration Debate Jennifer Talham Homeland Security raids on Meatpacking Plants 2006-12-14
A series of raids on meatpacking plants in six states added up to the largestever workplace crackdown on illegal immigration, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Wednesday. Some 5 percent of the 1,282 arrests resulted in identity-theft charges.

Recourse Grows Slim For Immigrants Who Fall Ill Nina Bernstein Help For Sick Immigrants 2006-03-03
When Ming Qiang Zhao felt ill last summer, he law awake nights in the room he shared with other Chinese restaurant workers in Brooklyn. Though he had worked in New York for years, he had no doctor to call, no English to describe his growing uneasiness.

Rise, Peak and Decline: Trends in U.S. Immigration 1992-2004 Jeffrey S. Passel and Roberto Suro Immigration to the U.S. 2005-09-27
The story behind immigration into the U.S. between the years of 1992 and 2004.

SF Pledges to Use Purchasing Power to Produce Sweatshop Reform Lisa Leff Sweatshop-Free San Francisco 2005-09-13
San Francisco supervisors unanimously approved a new law Tuesday that requires city contractors to guarantee in writing that the uniforms, computers and other goods they supply were not made by workers exploited in so-called "sweatshops."

Sour Grapes Marc Cooper California's Farm Workers' Endless Struggle 40 Years Later 2005-08-12
When I knock on the door of the Orange Street address I've been given in this dusty down-at-the-heels agricultural town, I get only a shrug when I ask for Pedro Cruz. Pedro works the same Valpredo farm as did 41-year-old Salud Zamudio-Rodriguez, who passed out and died in 105-degree heat, one of three California farm workers to die last month.

Study Finds Immigrant Workers in New Orleans are Vulnerable Associated Press, USA Today Immigrant Workers in New Orleans 2006-06-07
Illegal immigrant workers rebuilding New Orleans are vulnerable to exploitation according to a study by professors at Tulane and UC Berkeley

Study Finds Immigrant Workers In New Orleans Are Vulnerable Associated Press, USA Today Immigrants in New Orleans 2006-06-07
Illegal immigrant workers rebuilding New Orleans are vulnerable to exploitation according to a study by professors at Tulane and UC Berkeley.

Suit Filed To Block Herndon Labor Site Carol Morello Group Says Town Is Acting Illegally 2005-09-02
The city of Herndon is being sued by the advocacy group, Judicial Watch, for establishing an official day laborer site. The legally sanctioned site provides an alternative to the parking lot at 7-Eleven. The group filing the suit believes it shouldn?t go forward because it "undermines and violates federal immigration law."

Talking Points on Guest Workers David Bacon Guest Workers 2009-07-15
Guest workers are given a visa to enter the US to work on a temporary basis. To obtain a guest worker visa, a worker must have an offer of employment, or a job waiting in the US. This requirement sets up a system of labor recruitment, in which labor contractors offer workers jobs, and make the travel arrangements for them to come.

The Campaign for the Unpaid Wages Prohibition Act Jennifer Gordon Latino Immigrants Change New York Wage Law 2002-03-08
Working Papers

The Erosion of Worker Safety Peter Rousmaniere Worker Safety 2006-01-04
Article about the poor status of Massachusetts worker safety system, particularly as it relates to immigrant workers.

The Political Economy of Immigration Reform  The Corporate Campaign for a US Guest Worker Program 2004-11-01
In 1947, after reading a newspaper article about the crash of a plane carrying a group of Mexican contract workers back to the border, Woody Guthrie wrote a poem, later set to music by Martin Hoffman. In haunting lyrics, he describes how the plane caught fire as it flew low over Los Gatos Canyon, near Coalinga at the edge of California’s San Joaquin Valley. Observers below saw people and belongings flung out of the aircraft before it hit the ground, falling like leaves, Guthrie says. While the Coalinga Record carried the names of the pilot and Border Patrol agent on the flight, no record was kept of the workers’ identity. They were all listed on the death certificates simply as “deportee.” That became the name of the song.

The Social and Economic Consequences of Exclusionary Immigration Laws Felix S. Cohen Attitudes Towards Immigrants 1939-10-01
Oct 1939 issue of the National Lawyers Guild Quarterly (Vol. II, No. 3) This Article discusses the anti-immigrant climate in Congress and the country, that these attitudes are commonly supported on the theories that (a) immigrants threaten the American standard of living, (b) that immigration increases unemployment, and (c) that immigration lowers the cultural level and menaces the American way of life. It then analyzes facts and statistics to show that each of these arguments are completely wrong(summary by Tova Indritz).

U.S. Officials Defend Ploys to Catch Immigrants Steven Greenhouse U.S. Continue to Use Trickery to Catch Illegal Immigrants 2006-02-11
Despite criticism from advocates for immigrants, federal immigration officials said in recent days that they would not forswear the practice of impersonating occupational safety officials to round up illegal immigrants. Last July, federal agents arrested 48 workers at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina on charges of being illegal immigrants after the agents tricked the workers into attending what was billed as a mandatory training session sponsored by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

U.S. Raids Six Meat Plants in ID Case Julia Preston Homeland Security raids on Meatpacking Plants 2009-12-13
In simultaneous Dawn Raids, Federal Immigration Agents Swept Into Six Swift & Company meatpacking plants in six states yesterday, rounding up hundreds of immigrant workers in what the agents described as a vast vriminal investigation of identity theft.

Unauthorized Migrants Jeffrey S. Passel Numbers And Characteristics 2005-06-14
This report was developed as a briefing paper for the Independent Task Force on Immigration and America’s Future, co-chaired by former Senator Spencer Abraham (RMI) and former Congressman Lee Hamilton (D-IN). The bipartisan task force has been convened by the Migration Policy Institute in partnership with the Manhattan Institute and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The report on the unauthorized population was presented to the task force by the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research group in Washington DC, to provide a factual basis for its discussions. The Pew Hispanic Center, which does not engage in issue advocacy, is not participating in the task force’s deliberations or its policy recommendations. The report draws on both new research and previous work done by the author at the Pew Hispanic Center and the Urban Institute where he worked until January 2005.

Undocumented Immigrant Workers Jordan What a Deal! 2005-01-29
The decision was based on the Supreme Court’s 2002 Hoffman Plastics decision that held that undocumented immigrants were not entitled to back wages – even after being illegally fired for union activity – because their job was "obtained in the first instance by a criminal fraud." Some observers thought that the Hoffman decision meant that the workers would not be allowed to receive any award, although the court did not explain how it arrived at the prevailing wage in the worker's country of origin.

Update On Floc In Mexico FLOC FLOC 2007-05-10
The police in Mexico have shown a visible effort in investigating the murder of FLOC staff member Santiago Rafael since widespread calls for justice from around the world.

What is OSHA Doing About Immigrant Worker Safety Jordan Immigrant Worker Safety 2004-04-13
John Henshaw is pissed off. Why? A couple of weeks ago, AP reporter Justin Pritchard published an investigation into the workplace deaths of Mexican workers in the United States. Pritchard had written that "The jobs that lure Mexican workers to the United States are killing them in a worsening epidemic that is now claiming a victim a day, an Associated Press investigation has found."

Worker Centers Janice Fine Building Communities at the Edge of the Dream 2006-02-15
(EPI's new book co-published with Cornell University) takes one of the first comprehensive looks at the rising phenomenon of worker centers, fast-growing institutions that improve the lives of immigrant workers through service advocacy and organizing. Immigrant workers are changing the landscape of low-wage work and the labor market, with President Bush advocating a guest-worker program, Congress pushing increased border security and patrol. But as national policy is debated, a locally based grassroots movement is taking the initiative to assist millions of immigrants in the American workforce facing poor pay, bad working conditions, and few prospects to advance to better jobs