Friday, October 30, 2009

Civil Rights for undocumented workers...

This is part II of the blog started last night!!

Undocumented workers (UW) are not in the legal system. They are in foreigners (called "aliens") who have not applied for immigration benefit, are not here legally and/or have not come under immigration scanner yet. They seek and find jobs through their own network. Most common sight is near a Home Depot or other lumber store. You can also spot them on a busy street in a city early in the morning. Individuals working on their homes themselves or even contractors pick them up for handyman or other kinds of jobs.

Unprotected workers are also protected by federal and state discrimination laws but it is unclear if they can recover lost wages. Nonetheless they are protected by law for the purposes of Civil Rights laws and its protection. See earlier blog (Part I).

The challenge with undocumented workers is the fear of retaliation and being reported to immigration service. The retaliation itself is illegal. If employer calls ICE (Immigration), UW may be placed in removal proceedings. It is a different story, that removal process is time-consuming but the UW will face the problem, if employer retaliates and complains to ICE. Therefore, UW should make the complaint only after serious consideration and full consultation with the attorney.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative agency in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Formed in 2003 as part of the federal government's response to the 9/11 attacks, ICE's mission is to protect the security of the American people and homeland by vigilantly enforcing the nation's immigration and customs laws.

ICE combines innovative investigative techniques, new technological resources and a high level of professionalism to provide a wide range of resources to the public and to our federal, state and local law enforcement partners.

ICE is comprised of four operational divisions:

* Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO)
* Office of Investigations (OI)
* Office of Intelligence (Intel)
* Office of International Affairs (OIA)

With more than 20,000 employees in over 400 offices in the U.S. and around the world, ICE plays a vital role in the DHS layered defense approach to protecting the nation.