U.S. Holds ‘Labor Rights Week’ to Spotlight Rights of Florida Legal and Illegal Immigrants

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is planning events for “Labor Rights Week” in Florida, which comes at the same time as an agreement struck with the Mexican government to protect the employment rights of immigrants “regardless of immigration status.”

In other words, legal or not, immigrants will be educated about minimum wage laws and other employment rights, often through Spanish-language materials, at the expense to U.S. taxpayers.

“The EEOC’s Miami District Office is currently involved in plans for the agency’s participation in various ‘Labor Rights Week’ events scheduled throughout the state at the end of August by the Miami Consulate General and Orlando Consulate offices,” said an EEOC news release. “’Labor Rights Week’ is an initiative to educate Mexican nationals and other Latinos about their civil rights, workplace safety, minimum wage laws, and human trafficking.”

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 10: An immigration activist holds up a sign on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol during an All In for Citizenship rally April 10, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Tens of thousands of reform supporters gathered for the rally to call on Congress to act on proposals that would grant a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million of the nation’s illegal immigrants. Credit: Getty Images

The Miami District of the EEOC entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Consulate General of Mexico and Consulate of Mexico in Orlando.

“The agreement establishes an ongoing collaboration between these entities to provide Mexican nationals with information, guidance, and access to resources on the prevention of discrimination in the workplace regardless of immigration status,” the EEOC news release said.

Under the agreement, the U.S. government will provide Spanish-language materials that explain equal employment laws enforced by the EEOC and provide “information and training to areas of the state where migrant farm workers and other Mexican national live and work.”

EEOC spokesman Justin Lisser told TheBlaze that the agreement “is not nationwide,” and only applies to Florida. He said the EEOC has entered similar agreements with Mexican consulates in Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Michigan and Ohio.

EEOC Miami District Office Director Malcolm S. Medley signed the agreement with Acting Mexican Consul General Vladimir Hernandez Lara of Miami on Aug. 8.

“By signing this Memorandum of Understanding today with the Mexican Consulate, we of the EEOC’s Miami District have solidified our continued and longstanding commitment to this  underserved community,” Medley said in a statement. “This agreement provides the opportunity for ongoing education, outreach and service by the EEOC to Mexican nationals in our area. We look forward to a long-lasting and  significant partnership.”

Tom Fitton, president Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog group, said such agreements providing the same protection regardless of being in the country legal or illegally do nothing to discourage illegal immigration.

“This is part of a broader effort by the administration to eliminate a distinction between illegal and legal immigrants in terms of enforcing the rule of law,” Fitton told TheBlaze. “Protecting workers’ rights no matter the status is part of this progressive transnational view that workers are citizens of the world.”

The Obama administration has taken similar measures in the past to protect illegal immigrants.

In 2009, the Department of Labor announced it would enforce the rights of illegal immigrants in the workplace. In 2010, the department created a special division called “We Can Help,” for “underpaid and underprotected workers.” Announcing this initiative, the department said “wage and hour laws apply to all workers in the United States, regardless of immigration status.”

In June 2012, then Labor Secretary Hilda Solis signed partnership agreements with Honduras, the Philippines, Peru and Ecuador to preserve the rights of migrant workers in the United States.