MARCH 06, 2007
A nonprofit immigrant rights organization that has received thousands of taxpayer dollars to operate day laborer centers, has hired three full-time lawyers to file wage claims on their behalf.
Casa de Maryland, based in the state’s Tacoma Park area, operates three day laborer facilities that are mostly funded with public dollars and now the group has actually hired three attorneys to provide free legal services for the illegal immigrants.
The group, which annually receives huge tax-deductible donations from numerous corporations, says that its mission is to fight for equal treatment and full access to resources and opportunities for low-income Latinos–in other words, Hispanics who are in the country illegally.
It proudly advertises its day laborer centers–in Baltimore, Wheaton and Silver Spring–which are all partially funded with public money from counties and cities. In fact, last year Baltimore officials approved $75,000 for that municipality’s day laborer center.
Casa de Maryland hired the attorneys because it claims the state fails to protect the rights of low-wage workers. An example, according to the group’s recently published report, is that 75% of domestic workers don’t receive overtime pay and half earn below the minimum wage. Casa de Maryland demands that the state fully fund and staff a department to focus on the needs of immigrant workers and fully investigate their complaints.
In the meantime, its fully staffed legal department will provide free counsel to represent those who have violated federal U.S. law yet claim their “rights” are being violated.
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