Protecting Undocumented Workers

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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – The New York State Department of Labor has established a new process to protect undocumented immigrant workers from unethical termination. 

The process, which expands upon protections already implemented by the Biden administration, is designed to motivate undocumented workers and their allies to speak up about poor working conditions without facing deportation threats from immoral employers. 

“New York is proud to lead the nation in worker protections, and we will continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners to ensure that all workers enjoy their right to fairness and safety in the workplace – regardless of their immigration status,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. 

During workplace labor investigations conducted by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL), undocumented individuals can submit, or have a trusted ally or attorney submit on their behalf, a Statement of Interest request to NYSDOL. 

From there, the Worker Protection Unit will look over the request and make a determination within 30 days. During this time, the worker would also need to submit another file for deferred action to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

Every application is reviewed and, if approved, the worker would be protected from removal for two years.

New York State has granted 32 Statements of Interests since launching this process, protecting more than 100 workers.


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