Judicial Watch • DOL To Enforce Illegal Immigrants’ Federal “Rights”

DOL To Enforce Illegal Immigrants’ Federal “Rights”

DOL To Enforce Illegal Immigrants’ Federal “Rights”

DECEMBER 28, 2011

The U.S. Secretary of Labor has warned local governments that try to crack down in illegal immigration that they cannot deny undocumented workers minimum wage, which is guaranteed under a federal law that establishes pay in both the private and public sector.

Obama Labor Secretary Hilda Solis singled out Alabama this month, reminding state officials that their new law to curb illegal immigration invalidates employment contracts for undocumented aliens who are guaranteed the federal minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Alabama’s law took effect earlier this year and requires everyone to prove legal residency to get a job, enroll in school, register a car or rent housing. 

Shortly after the measure took effect, the Department of Justice (DOJ) challenged it in court, claiming that it conflicts with federal immigration law and undermines the federal government’s “careful balance of immigration enforcement priorities and objectives.”  The DOJ also hates that the law is designed to affect virtually every aspect of an “unauthorized immigrant’s daily life” and that it criminalizes their “mere unlawful presence.”

Solis, a former California congresswoman with close ties to the influential open borders movement, has vowed to help all illegal immigrants who have worked in Alabama and “whose right to the federal minimum wage or overtime pay has been violated.” In a DOL blog post this month she assures that the Obama Administration is fighting the state’s immigration control law but until the “courts strike it down” it is “critical that all workers in Alabama know their federal rights.” 

Here is another interesting excerpt from Solis’s article: “Our federal government—under both Republican and Democratic presidents—has long held that all people working in this country have the right to the federal minimum wage, regardless of immigration status…Farm workers must have their wages paid on time. Employers must provide their terms of employment in writing. And, if an employer provides housing or transportation, it must be safe.”

The nation’s Labor Secretary goes on to criticize the Alabama measure for making it a crime for an illegal immigrant to enter into a business transaction, such as signing an apartment lease or getting utility service. “Imprisoning those who seek shelter and basic sustenance runs counter to the universal rights of all free people. It’s beneath the dignity of this great nation,” she wrote.

Solis ends the piece with a tear-jerker, quoting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a Geneva speech where she reminds the world that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Governments cannot confer these rights because they are the “birthright of all people,” according to the Clinton speech quoted by Solis. “These basic rights extend to immigrants living in Alabama,” Solis concludes.  

Since Obama appointed her to run the DOL Solis has launched a number of costly initiatives to help illegal immigrants and her agency has given the open borders most powerful group, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), more than $5 million to promote its leftist agenda via a network of community organizations dedicated to serving Latinos.  

Under Solis the DOL launched a special program with 1,000 investigators dedicated to enforcing labor and wage laws in industries that typically hire lots of illegal aliens without reporting anyone to federal immigration authorities. The agency has also dedicated nearly $11 million to foreign-language programs that help workers with “low literacy or limited English proficiency” and entered formal agreements with Central American countries vowing to preserve the rights of their migrants working in the U.S.  

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  • d.maine

    If an American is convicted of a felony they lose their right to vote, carry arms, in most states are asked if convicted of a crime on work applications and rental aggreements, so why is it that an illegal has more rights than an American that has paid their debt to society but still must jump thru hoops to work and find a place to live, why are they so special?

  • spcomgp

    What doesn’t the government seem to understand about the word ILLEGAL? As far as I’m concerned, the only RIGHT an illegal alien has is an early shipment back to his/her homeland on the first South bound cattle boat.

  • kjs420

    So, they can dedicate 1000 investigators to enforce “labor and wage” laws, but none to enforce immigration laws? If these workers came here legally they would need to know basic English instead of spending $11 million for something they can pay for since they’re working.

  • Grumpyelder

    Ok– so they have to be paid minimum wage- after the employer posts bail following his arrest for hiring them, he can pay them. In the mean time hold them fin jail until immigration takes custody, Immigration will release them, but they’ll be in jail for a day or two first.

  • Scott Rasener

    Time to take this bitch out along with the rest of the “Unlawful” trash! I cannot wait until the election is over, and this illegal invasion is properly dealt with by enforcement, deportation a legislation that make life impossible for illegal aliens. We have to make it harder for them to be here, than it is to be in their country of origin….SIMPLE!

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