JW Sues Labor Department for Records Regarding Program to Help Workers Earn a “Rightful Wage” “Regardless of Immigration Status”
SEPTEMBER 23, 2010
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today announced that it has filed a lawsuit against the Obama Department of Labor to obtain records regarding a federal program designed to help “vulnerable and underpaid” illegal alien workers obtain fair wages “regardless of immigration status.” The campaign, launched by the Labor Department under the auspices of the Wage and Hour Division in April 2010, encourages illegal aliens to contact the government for assistance in earning fair wages from employers.
Judicial Watch seeks the following documents through its FOIA request originally filed on July 9, 2010:
…any and all records of complaints by undocumented workers under the Wage and Hour Division’s “We Can Help” Program. The time frame for this request is April 1, 2010 until July 9, 2010.
…any and all records of the policies and procedures of the Wage and Hour Division’s “We Can Help” program concerning, regarding, or relating to complaints received from an undocumented worker. The time frame for this request is April 1, 2010 until July 9, 2010.
According to a Department of Labor press release announcing the We Can Help campaign, “The campaign…underscores that wage and hour laws apply to all workers in the United States, regardless of immigration status.” The release also indicates that 250 new field investigators had been added to the government payroll to target employers who deny workers their “rightful wage.”
In a public service announcement promoting the campaign, available in both English and Spanish, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis says, “Remember, every worker in America has a right to be paid fairly whether documented or not.” She then encourages workers to contact the government’s new toll-free hotline for a “confidential” consultation. The government also has an Internet site dedicated to the We Can Help Program as well and has recruited celebrity spokespersons such as actor Jimmy Smits to help promote the campaign.
“This campaign demonstrates just how backward the Obama administration’s approach to illegal immigration is. The Obama White House attacks the State of Arizona for passing a law to enforce federal immigration law, while using taxpayer funds to help illegal aliens work illegally in the United States. No wonder the Obama Labor Department is stonewalling the release of any documents that could shed light on this scandalous waste of taxpayer resources,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.