Abuse of undocumented foreign workers, feared to rise
The present administration has promised to crackdown on illegal immigrants and foreign workers who are unlawfully present and working in the US. These efforts are being implemented to ensure that there are more jobs for Americans. However, one unexpected effect of the crackdown is that illegal immigrants and foreign workers, a vulnerable group of workers, have become more vulnerable to abuse.
Some illegal immigrants and foreign workers are routinely discriminated against in the workplace. These workers are reluctant to report any abuse they suffer from their employers.
They can be cheated out of their proper wages or made to work under dangerous conditions. Some employers threaten to report their employees so that they will be deported. Workers’ advocates fear that these policies may increase the incentive for unscrupulous employers to hire more undocumented workers who will not report unfair labor practices.
However, one undocumented alien from Guatemala reported his employer’s refusal to pay him his just wage. He was afraid of being singled out for deportation but found that because he reported the commission of a crime, he was able to secure a work visa and a green card because he was a victim of the crime he reported. It should be noted that when agents from the Labor Department investigate complaints of wage theft or dangerous work conditions, they do not ask the workers who are complaining about their migration status. Reporting unscrupulous practices of abusive employers will help ensure that work conditions for all workers will be fair.