May 1, 2013

Natalie Patrick-Knox

Standing Up for Workers in Immigration Reform for May Day

In honor of May Day, our network of coalitions and allies are raising their voices this week at events across the country to prioritize workers’ rights for all in immigration reform. Click here to view our fact sheet summarizing the importance of worker protections in immigration reform.

Like many advocates for immigrant rights, we were dismayed to see such a lengthy and unreasonable citizenship process in the bipartisan Senate proposal to reform our nation’s broken immigration system. Still, we are encouraged by Senate negotiators initiating a number of core labor provisions in this bill — including important worker protections from the POWER Act for immigrant workers who blow the whistle on employer abuse.

Without these protections, employers use threats of retaliation and deportation to silence immigrant whistleblowers and get away with abuse which hurts them and the U.S. workers that work alongside them. All workers deserve dignity and freedom from exploitation. Labor protections must be included in immigration reform or nearly every worker — no matter where they were born — stands to lose.

There is much to be done to protect and strengthen this bill as the legislative process unfolds to ensure a fair, broad, and inclusive roadmap to citizenship; fundamental labor rights, remedies and whistleblower protections for all workers now and in the future; and an improved guestworker program.  Join with us to keep the pressure on to seize on this historic opportunity to turn the tide for immigrant workers, their families, and improve conditions for all working families in this country.


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