Watch LIVE

Labor Dept. Will Enforce Federal Wage Laws on Behalf of Illegal Workers


"No matter how you got here or how long you plan to stay, you have certain rights..."

In a written statement to Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Labor confirmed that it will enforce federal wage laws on behalf of anyone working in the U.S. “regardless of their immigration status.”

According to the report, the department's written statement corroborated an earlier comment made by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. Responding to a question by CNS Monday, Solis spoke of “partnership” agreements she had allegedly signed with several Latin American countries -- Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador -- to protect the rights of  "documented and undocumented" migrant workers in the United States.

CNS notes:

The Labor Department’s determination to make U.S. employers treat illegal aliens taking jobs in the United States as if they were U.S citizens or legal immigrants seems to contradict the Immigration and Nationality Act. That act says “employers may hire only persons who may legally work in the United States (i.e., citizens and nationals of the U.S.) and aliens authorized to work in the U.S.” and that the U.S. government “protects U.S. citizens and aliens authorized to accept employment in the U.S. from discrimination in hiring or discharge on the basis of national origin and citizenship status.”

Watch Solis deliver her comments below:

During the signing ceremony featured in the video, Solis stated, "No matter how you got here or how long you plan to stay, you have certain rights. You have the right to be safe and in a healthy workplace and the right to a legal wage. We gather here today to strengthen our shared commitment to protect the labor rights of migrant workers in the United States. Unfortunately, due to language barriers and immigration status, migrant workers can be those that are most vulnerably abused.”

Responding to a question on whether Solis intended for both documented and undocumented laborers to be protected under U.S. labor laws, Solis stated:

“It has always been the case under previous Republican as well as Democratic administrations,” Solis started. “All we’re doing is enforcing the law and we’re allowing for other individual groups and partnerships with other consulate offices to work with us in expanding our reach in information. What we’re trying to avoid is that vulnerable communities be abused and that there be an increase in more underground activity, economic activity that goes untapped, those monies that are being paid to workers.”

Do you agree with Solis that enforcing labor laws on behalf of undocumented workers helps prevent them from being exploited?

Most recent
All Articles