Educating undocumented immigrants to fight injustice

The everyday challenges that undocumented immigrants in the U.S. face are difficult to overcome, but many immigration reform advocates are finding different ways to show their support. Some advocates of undocumented immigrants believe the most effective way to battle unfair treatment is to educate workers about their rights and what they can do to stand against injustice.

Organizations and communities against unfair treatment
One of the most active and vocal of the groups rallying behind the cause of undocumented immigrants is the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON). Members are visiting communities across the country and showing immigrant workers how to become a cohesive, unified group. Representatives of NDLON are also educating workers on what to do when they experience unfair treatment from employers such as lack of promised pay or not receiving the full amount for the day’s work. The informal process of hiring undocumented immigrants for a day plays a large role in many of these situations, and can often lead to environments where even more unfair practices might take place. According to Nadia Marin-Molina, the New York representative of NDLON, workers are not willing to suffer injustices any more.

“People think these workers are so vulnerable that they would never stand up for themselves,” Marin-Molina told Al Jazeera. “But they do have rights, and they’re willing to fight for them.”

Using the law to fight for rights
There are also recent reports that show the current presidential administration has been dealing with fewer new deportation cases. The Justice Department released figures that show a steady decline in both the number of new cases and the number of deportations brought through the U.S. court system in the last five years. Since 2009, judges have regularly ruled against sending away undocumented immigrants, resulting in a 43 percent drop in deportations. President Barack Obama’s administration also opened 26 percent fewer cases in 2013 than it did in 2009. The Justice Department’s report attributes the steady decline to more undocumented immigrants hiring lawyers and fighting against deportation, resulting in complex cases for immigration judges.