Meet Eloy and Edgar, they’ve been detained at the Broward immigration prison in Florida for 13-months now. Both of these men have spent that entire time fighting for justice. Now both are facing an immediate deportation date and need your help.
In July of 2012, Edgar, Eloy and about a dozen other employees of WastePro USA were arrested and charged with workers compensation fraud. Police initially thought the workers had been scamming the agency, however after an investigation they learned that the story was much worse than that.
WastePro had been hiring men like Eloy and Edgar and then forcing them to work nearly 70 hours a week, with little pay. In addition to slave-like working conditions the workers were also extorted into paying a part of their weekly paycheck to managers, in exchange for not calling ICE to have them deported. Workers were often injured on the job, but they were refused medical care and workers compensation claims were filed for and cashed by the managers. All of these abuses went on for the nearly 7-years some of these men worked for WastePro.
After the police investigation several of the workers arrested were released thanks to pressure from their attorneys. Unfortunately for Edgar and Eloy and 7 other workers, with a different attorney, were forced into accepting a plea deal they didn’t understand and immediately transferred to Broward immigration prison for deportation. As clear victims of a crime both Edgar and Eloy are eligible for a special visa and should not be facing imminent deportation.
In July of 2013, the Department of Labor finally sent down a representative to Florida to interview the men; the Department has power to sign-off on their special visa. The Department has yet to release their findings, however seven of the men have since been deported and time is running out for Eloy and Edgar.
TAKE ACTION: “Department of Labor, Don’t Trash Workers Rights! Bring the WastePro Workers Home!!”
Call USDOL – (202) 693-0051
Call Ernest Weiss – (202) 693-0547
Call John Bates – (678) 237-0490
Call ICE – (202) 732-3000 or (202) 732-3100
Sample Script: “Hi, I am calling to urge the Department of Labor and ICE to release Edgar and Eloy, grant them discretion, and sign-off on their U-Visas. These workers are running out of time and getting deported without their fair chance to fight their case. Both are victims of wage theft, fraud, forced labor, threats of deportation, and exploitation by WastePro. Both men have cooperated with the police investigation. Don’t trash workers’ rights. Release the WastePro victims!”
After you call please reply here to let us know what the office told you. Several organizations we work with are planning events at Department of Labor offices around the country, your calls are the added pressure we need. In addition to calling, let us know if you think you can host a rally next week at your Department of Labor office.