A great piece by Elizabeth Schulte at CounterPunch.org:
Immigrants are the most vulnerable to these attacks on their basic freedoms–and the least protected by the U.S. government.
Typically, law enforcement officials are charged with protecting the rights of those being abused–and they are the least capable of handling the job. On the contrary, they are more likely to be viewed–for good reason–as the enemies of undocumented immigrants, making them the last people workers would seek out for help.
In the end, undocumented workers are the ones treated like criminals.
The U.S. government is ill-equipped and apparently uninterested in seeking out these all-too-common incidents of abuse. At best, it turns the other way when abuses occur; more often, it is part of the problem, as the threat of deportation hangs heavy over the heads of workers too afraid to seek help.
If we are going to abolish modern-day slavery, we have to look to the struggles from below that won workers’ rights in the past. Read the article Slavery In The Fields here.