For Mexico’s migrant workers, a push for cross-border justice


Over the past decade, lawyers like Miguel and migrant advocates on both sides of the border have worked together to short circuit a guest-worker system that relies on laborers not knowing they are entitled to legal recourse.
News Story (INTERNATIONAL)

Whitney Eulich
Christian Science Monitor
December 14, 2015
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Tags: Employment, Farm and Migrant Workers

Organizations mentioned/involved: Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), Florida Rural Legal Services (FRLS)


DETAILS

Advocates say abuses that can add up to trafficking – lying about the nature of the work before arrival, forcing employees to work long hours without breaks, making threats about worker’s families, paying workers below the minimum wage, and physical or sexual assault – are exacerbated by the fact that guest workers are required to leave the United States at the end of each season. Back home, they are far away from the US legal system or advocates that might help them push for justice against abusive or exploitive employers.

But over the past decade more lawyers like Miguel, NGOs, government representatives, and migrant advocates on both sides of the border have worked together to short circuit a guest-worker system that relies on laborers not knowing that they are entitled to legal recourse, or how to go about getting it.

They see this effort for cross-border justice, painstaking and time-consuming as it is, as vital to reducing labor trafficking and migrant worker exploitation in the US.