Tag Archives: new mexico

FIRM Spotlight: Somos un Pueblo Unido Helps Pass Law Protecting Workers


On March 6th, New Mexico’ governor Bill Richardson signed House Bill 489, which provides stronger protections for workers who file claims for unpaid wages and overtime and penalizes the employers who steal from them.

From our partners at Somos un Pueblo Unido:

Too many employers were getting away with stealing wages from New Mexico’s workers,” said Marcela Díaz, Director of Somos. “This law will make it easier for aggrieved workers to recuperate their wages, an important gain especially during these hard economic times.”

“This law not only benefits workers, but also levels the playing field between honest employers and dishonest ones who cut costs by stealing wages,” explained Brandt Milstein, a Santa Fe based labor attorney working with Somos on the bill.

During the last ten years, Somos has documented hundreds of wage theft abuses in the immigrant community. Last year alone, the Department of Workforce Solutions Labor Relations Division investigated over 2,400 wage claims from immigrant and non immigrant workers.

“The passage of this law sends a strong message to those employers who think they can take advantage of their workers,” said Rayos Burciaga, a housekeeper and Somos’ board member. “Now bad employers will think twice about cheating their employees out of their paycheck.”

Congratulations on this victory! This is yet another step towards helping to protect ALL workers and bringing immigrants out of the shadows. If we want our economy to work, it must work for everyone.

State and Local Roundup


CA: Group: Detained Immigrants Kept in Squalid Basement: Immigrants held by the federal government are being detained in a squalid basement where conditions are foul-smelling and dirty, a civil rights group said in a lawsuit.

WA: Seattle Raid Raises Questions About Shift in Enforcement: The disclosure Wednesday that illegal immigrants in Seattle were given permission to work in the country has triggered alarms on Capitol Hill that the Obama administration is making a fundamental shift in the enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws.

NM: Roswell Hispanics Claim Police Racial Profiling: Roswell residents’ complaints about racial profiling of Hispanics by police officers have prompted a state advocacy group to request intervention from the U.S. Justice Department and the state attorney general’s office.

GA: Senate Bill Links Road Money to Immigration Status: Local governments that don’t check to make sure they are not hiring illegal immigrants could lose state money for building roads, under legislation that passed the Senate on Wednesday.