New “partnership” agreements that U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis signed with a number of Latin American nations are aimed at protecting both legal and illegal workers in this country by educating employers and workers about health, safety, and salary laws, reports CNSNews.com
Solis’s comments at the signing ceremony Monday contradicted immigration law, as defined on the Labor Department’s own website, CNS News found. Solis said all migrant workers possess a “right to a legal wage,” while her agency’s website states that “employers may hire only persons who may legally work in the United States . . . and aliens authorized to work in the U.S.” under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act.
“No matter how you got here or how long you plan to stay, you have certain rights,” Solis said. “You have the right to be safe and in a healthy workplace and the right to a legal wage. We gather here today to strengthen our shared commitment to protect the labor rights of migrant workers in the United States. Unfortunately, due to language barriers and immigration status, migrant workers can be those that are most vulnerably abused.”
CNS asked Solis to confirm that the partnerships would cover undocumented workers. Solis said her agency was merely enforcing policy in place during previous Democratic and Republican administrations and that the partnerships are aimed at curbing “underground activity, economic activity that goes untapped, those moneys that are being paid to workers.”
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