The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) finds the U.S. violated the workers' human rights.
Sarah Mehta and Jamil Dakwar, American Civil Liberties Union
December 22, 2016
In 2004, Leopoldo Zumaya was working as an apple picker in Pennsylvania when he fell from a tree, breaking his leg and leaving him with permanent nerve damage and chronic pain. A treating physician said Zumaya’s injuries were among the worst he’d ever seen. Most workers in Zumaya’s position would have received workers’ compensation benefits. But instead of disbursing his rightful worker’s compensation, his employer reported his immigration status to the insurance company, which then refused to pay his benefits, leaving him unable to access medical care.
Zumaya hired a lawyer, but due to his immigration status he reluctantly accepted a settlement for less than one-third of the money he would have received had he been authorized to work in the U.S.
The next year, Francisco Berumen Lizalde, an undocumented worker from Mexico, was working as a house painter in Kansas when he fell from scaffolding, severely injuring his hand. Shortly after filing for workers’ compensation benefits, Berumen-Lizalde was arrested by immigration enforcement officers, prosecuted for visa fraud, jailed and deported in what appeared to be retaliation for having filed for workers’ compensation. He was unable to pursue his claim for disability or to secure payments for medical care.
Both men have been waiting more than a decade to undergo necessary medical treatment and the compensation to which they are entitled.[...]
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