Undocumented Worker News

Trump Crackdown on Illegal Immigrants Puts California at Odds with the Feds

Sacramento, CA: While the undocumented worker would feel understandably vulnerable in the face of the most recent crackdown by the Trump Administration on undocumented immigrants, California’s undocumented workers can at least take heart in the existence of various state statutes and laws that protect workers, including updates to laws that came into effect the same month as President Trump was sworn in. Undocumented workers also make up an important part of the state economy overall, translating into a vested interest on the part of the State in the undocumented worker.

February 24, 2017

Los trabajadores indocumentados de California tienen un aliado: el Estado

Davis, CA: A pocas semanas de la inauguración del presidente electo Donald J. Trump, el destino de los trabajadores indocumentados en California sigue siendo incierto si el Sr. Trump decide cumplir sus promesas de campaña y las convierte en políticas reales una vez se instale en la Oficina Oval. La reciente postura del Sr. Trump sobre la instalación de una planta de fabricación en México por Ford Motor Co. resultó en la cancelación de dicha construcción cuando Trump insinuó fuertemente que Ford enfrentaría impuestos masivos por traer carros construidos en México a través de la frontera hacia Estados Unidos.

February 3, 2017

California Undocumented Workers have an Ally in the State

Davis, CA: With the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump mere weeks away, the fate of undocumented workers in California remains tenuous should Mr. Trump carry his campaign rhetoric forward to actual policy once installed in the Oval Office. Mr. Trump’s recent stance on the planned installation of a manufacturing plant in Mexico by Ford Motor Co. resulted in the cancellation of those plans when Trump hinted strongly that Ford would face massive taxation to bring Mexican-built cars across the border into the US.

January 6, 2017

California Vows to Protect Undocumented Workers

Sacramento, CA: Following Donald Trump's election as US president, lawmakers have vowed to protect California's undocumented workers and other illegal immigrants from deportation. The move comes following promises from Trump to deport or incarcerate at least eleven million "criminal" immigrants. The California State Legislature, however, has passed resolutions that would challenge immigration policies that unfairly target or harm undocumented workers.

Undocumented workers are often the victim of workplace abuses because they fear deportation if they file complaints against their employers or supervisors. Although they are protected from deportation if they complain about illegal behavior at the workplace, the threat of action against them is often enough to silence those who do not know their rights. With new threats of deportation or incarceration for people who are here illegally, undocumented workers could face more victimization at the hands of their employers.

The Huffington Post (12/5/16) reports that at the start of its new session, the California legislature announced resolutions asking Trump to not follow through on his promised deportation policies. The resolutions, which are identical, note the importance role immigrants play in California's economy.

"Immigrants are vital to many of California's industries such as technology, health care, agriculture, construction, hospitality, and domestic services," read the resolutions. "Immigrants also represent a large percentage of small business owners and create [economic] prosperity and needed jobs for everyone."

According to a 2014 report from researchers at USC, undocumented workers make up almost 10 percent of California's workforce, and contribute $130 billion to the gross domestic product yearly. Individual industries face even higher rates of undocumented workers; almost 40 percent of the agriculture industry is made up of undocumented workers.

California also introduced two bills that would protect immigrants, including establishing a fund to pay for lawyers to defend immigrants at risk of deportation.

Among protections offered to immigrants in California are in-state tuition rates for undocumented students and driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants.

"It is neither humane nor wise to ignore the many contributions of this community to our economy and culture," Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon said in a news release. "California celebrates diversity. We don't deport it."

Senate Leader de Leon also stated that California would not return to inhumane immigration policies used in the past.

Undocumented workers who are victims of harassment, discrimination, abuse, or other labor violations have the right to file complaints against their employer without risk of deportation.

December 22, 2016

Undocumented Workers Have Rights, Represent Value to California Economy

Sacramento, CA: While undocumented workers and illegal immigrants have been taking a pounding (primarily from the Republican candidate) in the US Presidential election, the fact remains that undocumented workers in California make up ten percent of the State’s overall work force and represents a contribution of $130 billion to the gross domestic product in the State.

October 29, 2016

In Praise of the California Undocumented Worker

Washington, DC: The unbridled rhetoric that remains the overriding flavor of the Donald Trump Republican campaign is being tested in the highest court in the land following a hearing of legal arguments in United States v. Texas in April that will not only seal the fate of President Obama’s troubled executive actions on immigration, but will either fan the flames or douse the fire of the presumptive Republican nominee.

May 16, 2016

Undocumented Workers Entitled to Job Protections

Sacramento, CA: While immigration is at the forefront of discussions during the presidential campaign, the plight of undocumented workers and their legal struggles are also an important talking point. And although states may attempt to skirt federal laws - and employers may attempt to ignore federal laws entirely - undocumented workers in California and other states are entitled to some protections, to ensure unethical employers do not take advantage of them.

February 10, 2016

A Hard Life, Unfairness the Bastion of the California Undocumented Worker

San Francisco, CA: Julieta Yang’s voice is only one in the wilderness that is the undocumented worker in California. But the single mother of three who hails from the Philippines is an example of the challenges and hurdles faced by the undocumented worker in the state of California.

December 18, 2015

Undocumented Workers Integral to California Economy

Camarillo, CA: A decision in a wage and hour lawsuit in New York not only carries positive implications for any undocumented worker in the state of California who may feel wronged by an employer, it also lends itself to the depth and breadth of the undocumented workforce in the Golden state.

October 19, 2015

California Labor Laws Extend to Undocumented Workers

Sacramento, CA The fight for leadership of the Republican Party has again brought the plight of undocumented workers to the forefront of the media, although for dubious reasons. What gets lost in the discussion of building walls and keeping undocumented residents out of the U.S. is the extreme hardship and difficulty many face in their employment. Because undocumented workers are afraid of consequences if they complain about employee treatment, California labor violations of foreign workers’ rights are widespread.

August 18, 2015
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