Statement from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’) procedural enhancements to support effective enforcement of labor laws protecting immigrant workers:
Workers rely on each other to take action to help enforce our labor laws, so we are all at risk when employers can use immigration threats to scare workers into silence. The commonsense procedures DHS has put in place will provide temporary status protections and work permits to workers who are exercising their workplace rights and reporting violations. That helps keep us all safe on the job.
Workers and our unions fight tirelessly to enact strong laws to promote safety and fairness at work, but those laws only help people if they are enforced. The underfunding of our labor agencies combined with our unjust immigration system have created an environment in which employers violate worker rights with impunity. We applaud DHS for taking this much-needed step to support the effective enforcement of labor laws, and will work to ensure these important new protections help as many workers as possible win justice.
Across the country, we are seeing a great resurgence in worker organizing. Despite the risks, immigrant workers have been rising up to demand fair pay, safe working conditions, and basic dignity and respect on the job. Those brave collective actions paved the way for these new interagency procedures that will benefit all working people. Acting together, we will continue to hold employers accountable and build a movement that brings good jobs and a more secure future to all workers, no matter where we were born.
Contact: Liz Vlock, 202-637-5018