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Opinion: Note to unscrupulous bosses: Labor laws protect undocumented workers too

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in Dallas in 2015.
(L.M. Otero / Associated Press)

To the editor: To cheat undocumented workers of their rightfully earned wages and threaten reporting them to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is unjust and immoral. (“More workers say their bosses are threatening to have them deported,” Jan. 2)

That employers feel empowered to deprive workers of their rights and to intimidate them is a reflection of the climate created by the Trump administration with anti-immigrant rhetoric and a blatant disregard of the vital role that immigrants play in the American workforce.

Labor laws protect all workers, not just American citizens. Employers who violate labor laws should be held accountable.

Lenore Navarro Dowling, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I have two suggestions for what to do with any employer, licensed or not, who threatens to report a worker to immigration authorities in order avoid paying promised wages.

First, if found to have violated labor rules, the employer should be required to pay owed wages plus damages that amount to double or triple the wages. Second, the employer should be deported to the country from which the worker came and the worker be allowed to stay.

I’d rather keep honest workers in this wonderful country of ours and ship out the corrupt bosses.

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Marty Friedman, Manhattan Beach

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