It is a situation that many undocumented workers in Los Angeles find themselves in. When employers take advantage of them, there is very little that they can do about it. Many fear doing so may call attention to themselves and end up getting them deported out of the country.
This is the case for one man who was recently threatened with deportation after he complained about his employer paying him less than minimum wage. The man is scheduled to appear in a deportation hearing next month after he was detained by immigration authorities for four days. The man had previously participated in a one-day strike in Washington D.C. with other workers to protest their low wages. When he showed up to work days later at the food court inside the Ronald Reagan Building, he was stopped by authorities who said there was a problem with his work badge and sent him to an immigration detention center.
The 26-year-old man, a native of Guatemala, had worked at a pita shop inside the same building where the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is based for three years with no problems. He said he would regularly work over 40 hours a week with no overtime and was paid $1.75 below minimum wage his first year and $1.25 below minimum wage his second. He believes that because he spoke out against his unfair work situation, that he was targeted for deportation.
This man would be well advised to seek the help of a competent immigration attorney. The lawyer can help him with his case and be there to represent his rights in the deportation hearing.
Source: Huffington Post, “Undocumented Worker Alleges Wage Theft, Ends Up In Deportation Proceedings,” Dave Jamieson, July 9, 2013