Thursday, November 02, 2006

Can you believe this?


Here is the whole thing, because I have noticed that stuff like this tends to get deleted.... My comments in parentheses

U.S. fails to protect illegal workers: petition
Wed Nov 1, 7:23 PM ET
Millions of illegal-immigrant U.S. workers are vulnerable to exploitation because the federal government fails to protect them, advocacy groups said in a petition to an international human-rights body. (Send them home then, I am sure they will get better treatment)
The document was filed on Wednesday with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, on behalf of petitioners including six illegal immigrant workers.
"By not protecting undocumented workers, the government is sending the message to employers that they can abuse and harass immigrant women, and that our lives are not as valued as other workers," one of the workers, identified as Melissa L., said in a statement. (UH, nope, everyone is protected here in the US)
The human rights commission, an arm of the Organization of American States, has scant powers and can do little more than publicize its findings. But the American Civil Liberties Union said the aim of the petition was to put the U.S. government's human-rights record under the spotlight and demand accountability.
"The most poorly paid and least desirable jobs in the United States are filled by undocumented immigrants," said Claudia Flores, an ACLU Women's Rights Project attorney. (uh, they are illegal, send them home!!! they do not have the right to work in the USA, they are ILLEGAL!!!)
"Yet the government increasingly limits the safeguards available to this population, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation and workplace discrimination." (This is plain bullshit. What safegards are limited?)
White House spokesman Tony Fratto said the claims were "off-base and ill-informed."
"The Department of Labor vigorously enforces the labor laws it administers regardless of a worker's immigration status," Fratto said.
Groups that took part in the petition included the ACLU, the National Employment Law Project and the University if Pennsylvania School of Law Transnational Legal Clinic
In addition to the illegal workers, the petition was filed on behalf of the United Mine Workers of America, the AFL-CIO labor federation -- America's largest, and the Interfaith Justice Network. (sheesh, this should be enough explaination..... Communism anyone?)
There are an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States, and proposed revisions in U.S. immigration law have become a major political issue in this congressional election year.
The petition said nearly 6 million illegal immigrants work, making up nearly 5 percent of the U.S. work force.
"International human rights law requires the United States to apply its workplace protections equally and without discrimination based on immigration status," said Chandra Bhatnagar, an ACLU Human Rights Program staff attorney. (They do)
Jesus L., another of the illegal workers named in the petition, is a Michigan poultry worker who suffered severe injuries after falling from the top of a chicken house onto a concrete floor.
He required spinal reconstruction surgery, but the insurance company for Jesus' employer refused to provide workers' compensation to cover time off work because he was undocumented, the ACLU said. (makes sense to me. The business was in violation of US law by employing the worker and the worker was in violation of US law by working and being in the country.)
Melissa L. left her job because of sexual harassment. When she filed a claim against her employer she had to settle her case for less than she was entitled because of her immigration status, the ACLU said (Wow, there's a case.... She settled for less because of her status.... could it be she settled because a jury probably would have gave her nothing because she was illegal... This is in no way meant to minimize any harrassment if it occured, but you can't turn the law around to suit your own needs. The law is that you cannot enter the United States illegally, and you cannot work. Now when you decide to break both of those laws you hold some resposibilty for your situation. Not that now that your here we have to make you legal.)

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