The Department of Labor outlined its plans in which the department expands the support given to immigrant victims of human trafficking and various other crimes who seek relief through the Department of Homeland Security.
Understanding U visas and T visas
As explained by the DOL, U visas are extended to certain victims of crime who are helpful in criminal investigations and prosecutions, but law enforcement agencies must certify that the victims have indeed met the requirements for the visa. The DOL added that certification is not required for victims of human trafficking who seek T visas, but that certification is “strongly encouraged.”
U visa and T visa certification
The Department of Labor further stated that the WHD will include three additional crimes for which it will undertake U visa certifications. They are:
- Foreign labor contracting fraud.
- Forced labor.
The DOL also added that the WHD will start to issue certifications to applicants for T visas.
Workers rights in the workplace
In further developments given in a third fact sheet, the DOL revealed the creation of an inter-agency working group designed to assist federal agencies reinforce employment and labor laws, irrespective of a worker’s immigration position. The DOL says a lot of workers are afraid of asserting their rights in the workplace. In addition, unscrupulous employers are apt to exploit the immigration status of workers, further frightening them.
The Joint Working group
The joint working group — comprised of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board and the Justice Department — will make every effort to safeguard enforcement in the workplace, creating an environment that is free of the fear of retribution, and prevents the exploitation of enforcement agencies by people who might want to jeopardize the workers’ protection. The working group will make sure that e
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