Underpaid for years, they finally recover the full back wages they earned — earnings vital to sustaining themselves and their families.
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Immediately following President Obama’s November 20 announcement of expanded executive immigration relief for undocumented parents, students and graduates, the Equal Justice Center sprang to action launching a new campaign to help immigrant families who may be eligible for this form of immigration relief. That campaign is moving forward notwithstanding the February 16 federal court ruling that temporarily halted some key parts of the immigration relief program.
The first of the executive immigration relief programs, started in 2012, is known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Since 2012 EJC has been providing legal assistance and counsel to help more than a thousand young undocumented students and graduates secure DACA relief. In addition EJC has been conducting continuing community education forums to help immigrant families understand and access DACA.
In November 2014 the President announced an expansion of DACA (“DACA 2.0″) to help additional students and graduates, and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans). From the first week following the President’s November 2014 announcement, EJC has been partnering with key community groups to conduct ongoing information sessions in the immigrant community about both DAPA and DACA. In these forums EJC’s legal experts (1) help potentially eligible immigrant families understand and benefit from those parts of the immigration relief program that continue unimpeded by the court ruling (DACA); and (2) help eligible immigrant families also understand and prepare for the expanded parts of the immigration relief program which have been temporarily suspended, but which we expect will resume following further legal action (DACA 2.0, and DAPA). The February 16 court ruling has made the EJC’s professional counsel and educational work all the more important, in order to help allay understandable confusion and fear.
EJC has been conducting its information forums and outreach in faith congregations, schools, and community centers serving the immigrant community both in Central Texas as well more remote parts of the state like the Texas Panhandle and East Texas. EJC has already conducted presentations attended by more than 1500 participants, An important aspect of these outreach programs is EJC’s close collaboration with community organizations such as Austin Interfaith, the Mexican Consulate, Education Austin, the University Leadership Initiative, PTA groups, local immigration lawyers, and others.
- Click here to see a list of upcoming DAPA/DACA information events that the EJC is helping lead. Additional information workshops and forums are being planned on an ongoing basis. Check this website for updates.
- Click here to see examples of previous DAPA/DACA information events that the EJC has already helped to lead.
- Immigrant and non-immigrant groups who wish to request the EJC’s legal and political expertise to increase their understanding of this historic new immigration action, can contact 888-670-6858
The Equal Justice Center has recently surpassed the milestone of $7 million recovered in wage theft cases for low-wage working men and women.
EJC attorneys and staff, working from its offices in Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas, provide legal representation for low-wage working people across Texas. EJC’s clients include construction laborers, janitorial and cleaning service workers, restaurant cooks and dishwashers, landscape laborers, and workers in a host of other industries. They are U.S. citizens, documented immigrants, and undocumented immigrants. They are women, men, young people and older workers.
The common factors among them all are (1) the hard, honest work they perform to support themselves and their families; and (2) their determined use of the legal system to vindicate their right to be paid what they have earned.
“What the Equal Justice Center does for our clients and their families is place in their hands the powerful tools of the law and the legal system,” said EJC Austin attorney, Christopher Willett. “With that power, they can take charge of protecting their own rights and hold unscrupulous employers accountable through their own direct action. In our society, that amounts to real power and recognized legitimacy.”
The EJC is the leading law firm in Texas specialized in protecting the employment rights of low-wage workers. Its pioneering work continues to advance access to workplace justice without regard to income or immigration status.