Immigrant and workers' rights advocates celebrated a victory in Rhode Island this week with the announcement that State Rep. Peter Palumbo's anti-immigrant bill, closely based on Arizona's widely
criticized SB 1070, would not get a hearing. Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox came out in opposition to Palumbo's bill, and decided to table it -- the proposal was drafted roughly ten days ago, just before the end of the state's legislative session.
A crime wave has been sweeping Illinois, with surveys of low-wage workers in the Chicago area showing an average of 146,300 cases of wage theft each week -- resulting in about $7.3 million each week in unpaid wages, or $380 million stolen from workers each year. In order to crack down on this criminal wage theft, the Illinois General Assembly on May 3 nearly unanimously (56-0 in the Senate and 112-1 in the House) passed SB 3568, which will strengthen the state’s ability to enforce violations of the Wage Payment and Collection Act.
This week, the Arizona Senate passed the nation's most draconian
immigration law - which criminalizes the undocumented and those
accused of assisting them - that many critics say will drive racial
profiling and further undermine Arizona's devastated economy. The bill
now awaits now awaits Governor Jan Brewer's veto or approval.
Washington state Governor Christine Gregoire signed a bill
to combat wage theft this week, adding Washington to a growing number
of states and counties, including Miami-Dade
County, cracking down on employers who underpay workers (many of
them undocumented immigrants) and violate minimum wage and overtime