MAY 16, 2007
A nonprofit legal agency funded by American taxpayers is representing hundreds of illegal immigrants in lawsuits against the United States government and a Massachusetts factory that hired them illegally.
The cases stem from an immigration raid earlier this year at a leather factory in New Bedford, a port city located about 50 miles south of Boston. More than 300 illegal aliens were arrested by federal agents and moved to detention centers in Texas to await deportation.
The nonprofit Greater Boston Legal Services, partially funded by U.S. taxpayers, immediately filed a lawsuit against the government for acting in bad faith by moving the illegal aliens to Texas and denying them adequate access to lawyers.
This week the Boston firm, which proudly advertises that it provides free legal services to low-income residents and illegal aliens alike, filed a lawsuit against the New Bedford factory (Michael Bianco Inc.) for cheating the workers of overtime pay.
The suit claims that 500 employees–361 of them illegal immigrants–were cheated out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime pay. It also accuses Michael Bianco Inc. of depriving workers of wages by enforcing a tardiness policy that regularly deducted pay when they clocked in late.
Ironically, the leather factory had millions of dollars in government contracts, including a lucrative $100 million Department of Defense deal to stitch back packs and vests for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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