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NILC Report on First Year of Labor-Based Deferred Action

The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) issued a report on labor-based deferred action commemorating the one-year anniversary of the policy. Bet Tzedek’s Employment Rights Project (ERP) team contributed to the report, providing a quote from our client:

“I have always wanted to come out of the shadows because I’ve always felt excluded from American society — despite paying taxes, living here, and working here. I want to be a part of this country. When I heard about this opportunity, it gave me the strength to apply and feel a part of this country. It was difficult to make the decision to apply. The process was a very serious process, but I am glad I did it.” -ADOLFO, Janitor in California

In January of 2021, Adolfo informed his employer that he was not feeling well after receiving his COVID-19 vaccine and would be taking a sick day. When his paycheck arrived, it did not include sick pay. When Adolfo asked his employer why he did not receive sick pay, his employer said, “those benefits don’t exist for people like you.” Five days later, Adolfo was terminated and was told “I told you this would affect your job — asking for payment on top of asking for a day off.” Bet Tzedek filed a retaliation and wage claim on behalf of Adolfo and also obtained a Statement of Interest, which allowed Adolfo to obtain a work permit.

We are proud of success stories like these that show how we — through the use of the law — protect low-wage workers, including immigrants, who are prone to exploitation!