A top official at the National Labor Relations Board announced it will actively promote U.S. labor law protections for illegal immigrants.
NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued a memo describing actions the board will undertake to help these workers, who she says are protected by the National Labor Relations Act regardless of their immigration status
She said the board will seek immigration relief for those who are witnesses and victims of unfair labor practices. This includes deferred action, parole, continued presence, special visas/status for certain crime or trafficking victims, a stay of removal, or other relief as available and appropriate.
“Immigration-related threats and retaliatory actions in unfair labor practice cases involving immigration status or work authorization will be taken seriously,” Abruzzo declared.
She also said board agents “will be flexible and empathetic” in working with hesitant immigrant witnesses. This includes assuring them an individual’s immigration or work authorization status is not relevant to the investigation and they will not be asked about it.
NLRB also will be flexible with meeting at neutral locations, providing bilingual materials and translators, and allowing for alternative contact information, among other things.
Under an agreement between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the board, she said ICE will typically refrain from enforcement at a worksite subject to an existing investigation of a labor dispute and any related proceeding.
In addition, the board will work with the Department of Justice to address labor-related violations of immigration law, Abruzzo said.