On July 6, 2022, the Department of Labor (DOL) released frequently asked questions (FAQ) on the process for requesting DOL support for requests to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for immigration-related prosecutorial discretion during labor disputes.
The FAQ states that DOL considers such requests on a case-by-case basis. DOL remains open to requests from workers to express DOL support for their requests to DHS seeking immigration-related prosecutorial discretion. The FAQ notes:
[W]orkers must feel free to participate in the Department’s investigations and proceedings without fear of retaliation or immigration-related consequences. DOL’s mission and effective enforcement depends on the cooperation of workers. However, vulnerable workers who lack work authorization or sufficiently ‘portable’ immigration status are often reluctant to report violations, engage with government enforcement agencies, or otherwise exercise their rights. For example, undocumented workers who experience labor law violations may fear that cooperating with an investigation will result in the disclosure of their immigration status or that of family members, or that it will result in immigration-based retaliation from their employers and adverse immigration consequences for themselves or their family. As a result, both workers and the Department face barriers to equitable and effective enforcement of workplace rights and protections, and the many employers that adhere to labor and employment laws face unfair competition.
DOL has long supported prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis, to further enforcement of laws within DOL’s jurisdiction.