U.S. Holds “Labor Rights Week” to Protect Mexican Workers
AUGUST 13, 2013
The United States has signed an agreement with Mexico’s government vowing to prevent workplace discrimination against illegal immigrants while educating them about their civil rights and minimum wage laws.
It’s a nifty little contract signed this month by the federal agency that enforces the nation’s workplace discrimination laws, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In a press release the EEOC calls it a “historic outreach agreement” that will solidify the agency’s “continued and longstanding commitment to this underserved community.”
Under the deal, American taxpayers will provide Spanish-language materials explaining the laws enforced by the EEOC and the agency will partner with Mexican consulate offices to provide information and training in areas where “migrant farm workers and other Mexican nationals live and work.” The memorandum was signed in Florida, an agriculture state known for its illegal workforce, but it’s sure to apply nationwide.
The pact also creates special “Labor Rights Week” events throughout the state. This is described by the EEOC as an “initiative to educate Mexican nationals and other Latinos about their civil rights, workplace safety, minimum wage laws and human trafficking.” The agency makes it clear that this project was specially created for illegal aliens, writing in the announcement that it’s designed to protect Mexican nationals “regardless of immigration status.”
Though this may be viewed as outrageous by many, it’s been going on for years as part of the Obama administration’s broader push for amnesty. Back in 2009, the Obama Department of Labor (DOL) announced it would vigorously enforce illegal immigrants’ “federal rights,” warning local governments not to discriminate against undocumented workers.
A year later the DOL, under then Secretary Hilda Solis, created a special division to assist and protect illegal immigrant workers in the U.S. More than 1,000 new field investigators were deployed to reach out to Latino laborers in areas with large numbers of illegal alien employees. Their message, in Spanish, was “we can help” bring workplace protections to the nation’s most vulnerable and underpaid workers, including those who have no legal right to live in the United States.
Before Solis left the agency at the end of Obama’s first term, she also signed “partnership agreements” with foreign countries—including Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic—promising to preserve the rights of their migrants in the U.S. The DOL also created a wasteful, bilingual smartphone app to help hourly workers “stand up for their rights” and file complaints against employers.
The EEOC has also taken a number of actions to protect illegal immigrants during Obama’s tenure, including a controversial 2009 decision making a workplace English rule illegal. Although federal law allows employers to require English on the job, the EEOC sued a national healthcare firm for discrimination, alleging that Hispanic workers were punished for speaking Spanish. In its lawsuit the government accused the firm of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by committing national origin discrimination against the Spanish speakers
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