NJ Senator Menendez Making Pro-Migrant Moves – Vivir Latino – 4/19/10

In the absence of any Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill, seems that some Senators are making moves which take piecemeal approaches to protecting immigrant workers. Last week,New Jersey Democrat Senator Robert Menendez introduced the Protect Our Workers from Exploitation and Retailation (POWER) Actwhich seeks to protect immigrant whistleblowers who report workplace violations and abuses of being threatened with deportation.

Sen. Menendez said that the bill is likely to get the 60 votes in November 2010 which is better than the expectations for CIR.

“It may very well be in November the lame duck session, when members, who have retired or not going to run again, whose heart and mind says this is the right thing but maybe whose politics says to them no, would be willing to vote,”

According to El Diario/la Prensa, the POWER Act has several key provisions—among them, allowing law enforcement officials and labor officials to permit a worker to stay in the country temporarily if the person has filed a workplace claim or is a witness in a pending workplace claim.

Senator Menendez is a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act. Is this introduction and support of smaller pieces of legislation a sign that Senators are getting tired of waiting for do-nothing Schumer and want to show constituents that they are serious about protecting immigrants?


Workers on the Front Lines

josueAfter Hurricanes Gustav and Ike forced people living on the Gulf Coast to evacuate, I was recruited to work along with 11 other workers from a day-laborer corner in New Orleans. The employer promised us good work, fair wages, safe conditions and housing in Texas. We believed him. When we arrived in Beaumont, we were horrified...
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