THE BLOG
05/29/2013 01:22 pm ET Updated Jul 29, 2013

Why U.S. Workers Need Guest Worker Whistleblowers

Meet Martha. Last year she was an H-2B guest worker in a Louisiana labor camp on the Walmart supply chain. This year she's on the frontlines of immigration reform.

Martha defied threats of violence, retaliatory firing, and deportation by her employer to blow the whistle on forced labor.

When she did, she didn't just stand up for other guest workers. She helped protect the wages and conditions of the 24 million U.S. workers who work alongside H-2B guest workers in the industries of food processing, hospitality, construction, and landscaping.

That's why immigration reform needs to protect whistleblowers like Martha:

When employers can get away with exploiting guest workers, it drives down wages and conditions for all by forcing U.S. workers into a race to the bottom.

But when guest workers have the protections that let them stand up to abuse, they help lift the floor for all workers. Wages, conditions, and job quality are more secure for every worker in America.

Immigration reform risks leaving hundreds of thousands of future guest workers without whistleblower protections. That would create a permanent underclass of captive, exploited immigrant workers, while eroding the wages and conditions of the tens of millions of U.S. workers alongside them.

But when guest workers have the protections that let them stand up to abuse, they help lift the floor for all workers. Wages, conditions, and job quality are more secure for every worker in America.

Watch Martha's story, then ask your members of Congress to make sure immigration reform includes key protections for guest workers -- for the sake of all America's workers.

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