Judicial Watch, Corruption Chronicles
As states and municipalities across the nation adopt measures to combat a painful illegal immigration crisis, a major U.S. county continues to dedicate public resources to help undocumented workers.
Florida’s most populous county, Miami-Dade, is operating a taxpayer-financed program to assist illegal aliens in collecting fair wages from those who hire them on street corners to do odd jobs. County commissioners passed an ordinance earlier this year requiring employers to pay day laborers and domestic workers within 14 days of contracting them.
Illegal immigrants who aren’t paid on time are encouraged to contact the county in person, by phone or internet to begin the collection process. A special application can be downloaded from the county’s official website and officials guarantee that undocumented workers won’t be reported to federal immigration authorities.
Most of the day laborers who make claims get picked up on street corners to do construction or landscaping jobs for cash wages that aren’t taxed. County officials say they passed the law to help the undocumented workers because they depend on quick payments to live, eat, pay rent or send cash to family back home. It’s a form of robbery known as wage theft when the workers don’t get paid, according to Miami-Dade County officials.
Lawmakers in the south Florida county with a population of about 2.5 million have long accommodated illegal immigrants. A few years ago Miami-Dade allocated $200,000 to help build a day laborer employment center where illegal immigrants who had been arrested for soliciting and loitering now gather to find work. Conveniently located near a major home improvement store, the 2,000-square foot center offers day laborers a photo identification and registry to a database that’s made available to employers.
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