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Agency Wants To Extend Worker Protections To Illegal Immigrants

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) made a pledge Friday to help ensure immigrant workers are protected under the law, including those who may be in this country illegally.

The EEOC and the Mexican foreign affairs ministry signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” promising education programs and outreach to aid immigrant workers.

The memorandum states that its intended purpose is to “establish a collaborative relationship to provide Mexican nationals in the United States with information, guidance, and access to education and training resources to help them understand and exercise their workplace rights, particularly with regards to reducing violence against them under the law and regulations that are administered and enforced by the EEOC.”

Kimberly Smith-Brown, a spokeswoman for the EEOC, confirmed that such protections would apply to illegal immigrants.

Smith-Brown told The Daily Caller News Foundation, “Undocumented workers are afforded the same protections under the law. The EEOC will assist anyone who believes that they have been discriminated against.”

Smith-Brown added, “When someone does come to us with a complaint, we will assist them with their claim. The EEOC does not ask the documentation status of anyone that comes to our offices. An undocumented worker is afforded the same protections under the law as everyone else.”

“This year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” EEOC general counsel David Lopez declared during the signing. “Today we memorialize a relationship to help ensure this historic Act and other anti-discrimination laws we enforce apply to all workers who live and work in this country.”

“In 2012, the EEOC adopted a strategic enforcement plan setting forth its enforcement priority for the year 2012 to 2016. One of the agencies top enforcement priorities is to combat discrimination against immigrant, migrant and other vulnerable populations,” Lopez added.  “We doubled our efforts to ensure even the most vulnerable workers are protected by the law, even those who live and work in the shadows” Lopez stated.

EEOC Chairwoman Jacqueline A. Berrien remarked, “Today’s memorandum of understanding is just the most recent example of an ongoing collaboration between the government of Mexico and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.”

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