Immigration Reform News: Lawyers Helping Mexican Migrants Sue Abusive Employers In The US

immigrant workers
Migrant workers from Mexico and Nicaragua harvest Burley tobacco grown by Tucker Farms before hanging the leaves in barns to begin their six week curing process September 9, 2013 in Finchville, Kentucky. The migrant workers participate in the U.S. Department of Labor's H-2A temporary agricultural program, which allows agricultural employers to hire temporary help for seasonal work. (Photo by Luke Sharrett/Getty Images)

Lawyers on both sides of the border are helping immigrant workers who have suffered from abuses from their abusive employers, ranging from withheld wages, exploitation and trafficking.“For decades attorneys have seen these kinds of abuses against workers,” Staci Jonas, a managing attorney of the human trafficking team at Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid,  “what’s changed in recent years is the realization that this is more than just a wage violation or a human rights complaint. It’s something that there’s a name for: modern day slavery.”

According to csmonitor,  more lawyers, NGOs, migrant advocates and other groups on Mexico and in U.S. have worked together to short circuit a guest-worker system that relies on laborers not knowing that they are entitled to legal opportunities.These advocacy group constantly help farm workers to pursue legal action and to educate workers them about their human rights while working in land of opportunity.

The investigative report tells the story of how some of these workers feared they would be blacklisted by recruiters or that the government wouldn’t issue them future work visas. “The message needs to be clear to US employers that workers aren’t disposable,"  Cathleen Caron, executive director of the Global Workers Justice Alliance, which provides “portable justice” to migrant laborers said to the website," if you don’t have people working in the country of origin to empower workers to access justice at home, [US] employers assume they can send them home and silence them."

 

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Juliana Barrera

Juliana Barrera started her mass communications career in the entertainment business at Estefan Enterprises, where she successfully participated in a variety of projects related to production, marketing and public relations for the company. She worked for three years as a writer and editor at La Vox Media group, the platform for an independent voice for Hispanic America. Additionally, she completed an internship at VIACOM  engaging audiences through pro-social initiatives. 

Juliana is a graduate student from Florida International University, her major is mass communications  and she has a minor in psychology. Her work has been published by HuffPost LatinoVoices, Latin Times, VOXXI, politic 365, La Opinión and others.