3:13 pm - Monday December 16, 9005

Key Worker Protections Amendment

Calls on Senate Judiciary Committee to Adopt “Blumenthal 17”

 

Statement by CAMBIO, the Campaign for an Accountable, Moral, and Balanced Immigration Overhaul, on the importance of a key worker protections amendment being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee during their mark-up of Title IV of the “Gang of Eight” bill S.744:

“As the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to deal this week with reforms to non-immigrant visa programs, CAMBIO urges the committee to adopt a key worker protections amendment to provide whistleblower protections to H-2B guestworkers, and the U.S. workers who work alongside them. The amendment, offered by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), is similar to bipartisan-supported whistleblower protections that currently exist in most other federal statutes including energy, transportation, securities, and health and safety.

“Recent history shows that H-2B guestworkers are highly vulnerable to abuse on the job and that they have few protections from employer retaliation. When immigrant workers are threatened with deportation simply for standing up for a safe work environment, all workers’ rights suffer. Without whistleblower protections, the risks that H-2B guestworkers face in reporting workplace abuse are too high: firing, deportation, blacklisting, and default on program-related debt.

“Supporting whistleblower protections isn’t just good policy, it’s also good politics: 91 percent of Americans support ‘stronger punishment against employers who fail to pay required wages or do not follow safety standards.’

“For all of these reasons, CAMBIO urges adoption of the ‘Blumenthal 17’ worker protections amendment.”

CAMBIO is a diverse group of organizations advocating for laws and policies that create a fair system for immigrants to become citizens; bans indefinite detention; guarantees due process for everyone in the United States; makes enforcement systems accountable; protects civil and human rights; encourages a better border to protect the quality of life in the borderlands, prevents the abuse of vulnerable Americans; and keeps families together. CAMBIO’s members include American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU Regional Center for Border Rights, the Border Network for Human Rights, Detention Watch Network, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, National Domestic Workers Alliance, the National Guestworker Alliance, the National Immigration Law Center, Rights Working Group, Southern Border Communities Coalition, Immigrant Justice Network, and Northern Borders Coalition.

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