Advocates in Dallas call for federal protections for immigrant workers
Activists are calling for better protections for immigrants who speak out about mistreatment at the workplace.
Activists stood along the Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge in Dallas Friday morning, calling on federal officials to protect immigrant workers.
It was part of a national campaign calling on the Biden administration and the Department of Homeland Security to implement federal protections for immigrant workers who speak out about workplace abuses.
Cheli Cruz with the Workers Defense Project said issues like wage theft and retaliation are all too common, especially in the construction industry.
“We need there to be labor enforcement,” Cruz said. "We need there to be protections for undocumented workers so that they can speak out freely about those abuses."
Cruz said the group wants the Biden administration to pass federal protections that would enable immigrants to come forward about workplace concerns without the threat of deportation.
“We do have a crisis of labor abuse in this country," said Sean Goldhammer, director of employment and legal services at the Workers Defense Project. "Wage theft, worker injuries [and] discrimination are rampant. The coercive immigration enforcement system that we have makes it so much worse."
Goldhammer said the Biden administration has the authority to grant immigrants work authorization and protection from deportation.
"These protections were promised from President Biden on the campaign trail and in his early executive orders," Goldhammer said.
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