New insurance for undocumented immigrants: labor protection has finally arrived

A new labor insurance policy that will offer protection to undocumented immigrants against labor abuses has been announced.

On January 13, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced what immigrants and activists have long been waiting for: new insurance for undocumented immigrants against labor abuse. But what does it imply?

After years of intense activism, workers succeeded in getting DHS to release new guidance that would serve as documentation to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation and other legal retaliation for reporting a workplace conflict.

Migrant labor is the backbone of the country’s economy, and ensuring their labor rights is, at the very least, a form of retribution for such important work. As a result, the DHS decision was highly celebrated around the country.

At Jaskot Law, we’ll tell you what this new employment insurance is all about, how it got to this point, and what is expected to change in the future. If still in doubt, contact us at +1 (410)-235-6868 or email us to [email protected]. We can help you!

Tabla de Contenidos

    The road to labor rights

    This project has been in the making since last year, when the Department of Labor (DOL) published a guide for undocumented migrant workers involved in labor disputes and/or injustices. This document meant for the workers’ organizations that they could now count on the support of the DOL, something that carried great weight for the negotiations with the DHS that followed.

    young confident leader of team standing in front o 2022 12 16 23 58 59 utc 1024x683 1
    New insurance for undocumented immigrants improves their quality of life.

    While the guidance granted certain legal protections against complaints, abuses, and noncompliance in the work environment, as only DHS can offer immigration relief, DOL was not entirely sure how they were processing these workers’ requests for deferred action, nor at what pace. This means that, while there was a positive initiative to improve, there was no clear procedure or specific follow-up on how to do so.

    How does the new insurance for undocumented immigrants’ system work?

    After a year of disorganization and uncertainty, the DHS finally announced that it would accommodate DOL and activists’ requests. Now, the procedure for issuing insurance for undocumented immigrants is clear and precise.

    First, once a worker files a labor rights violation complaint with the DOL, the agency itself must issue a “Statement of Interest,” i.e., a statement of support for the worker’s deferred action. This has been the case for a year now. However, what’s new is the content of the latest DHS guidance. It states that the DHS accepts, at its discretion, the deferred action requested by the worker.

    This second step is the one that DHS decided to improve, making the admissions’ procedure more centralized, improved, and efficient. Also, while waiting for this process, workers can apply for a legal work permit.

    Another major change that will benefit migrant workers is that when they submit their applications, they will also be able to count on the support of federal labor and employment agencies such as the DOL, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as state, and local agencies.

    All of these modifications will be extremely beneficial to the migrant community, which does so much for the U.S. economy. In theory, many workers who suffer mistreatment and injustice in their workplaces often do not report it due to fear of deportation or other immigration consequences. But now, that fear will be gradually eradicated.

    At Jaskot Law, our team of immigration attorneys can assist you with your employment and adjustment of status applications. Contact us at +1 (410)-235-6868 or email us to [email protected], and get the help you need!