Feds impersonate OSHA to nab illegal aliens
Jordan of Confined Space reports that immigration authorities posed as OSHA agents to capture illegal aliens. OSHA has been striving to win the trust of undocumented workers for decades. Now the feds have thoughtlessly shattered that trust. The stakes are high because immigrants are more likely to work in dangerous jobs and less likely to get the safety training they need. Jordan explains:
We have a very well-known and deadly problem in this country: Immigrant workers -- especially undocumented immigrant workers -- get injured and killed on the job at a much higher rate than native-born workers.
Part of the problem is lack of training; they're not aware of many of the hazards and they don't know about OSHA standards. But even when they know the work is dangerous and know that they can call OSHA, they're generally reluctant to complain. Partly it's fear of getting fired. But it's also because in their country of origin, there is often a great (and justified) mistrust of government officials.
For undocumented workers it's even worse. They're afraid OSHA inspectors will turn them in to immigration authorities, even though OSHA and immigrant worker support groups have gone to great lengths to assure immigrant workers that they have nothing to fear from calling OSHA.
I feel safer already, don't you?