Employers in New Mexico steal wages from one in four Mexican immigrant workers. That’s according to a new study from researchers at the University of New Mexico.
According to the report, wage theft in New Mexico doesn’t happen only to undocumented immigrants, workplace abuse is common, and wage theft is dramatically underreported.
Marcela Diaz is executive director of Somos Un Pueblo Unido, an immigrant-led organization that helped researchers with the report. She says out of 210 individuals surveyed, 29 percent of undocumented immigrants reported being victims of wage theft.
“Twenty-one percent of documented immigrants were self-reported victims of wage theft, and most alarming was that only 12 percent of those victims tried to report it or recuperate their wages,” Diaz said. “Only four of those individuals went to a government agency to file under the administrative process, a wage claim, and only one of them resulted in a successful wage claim being filed.”
The report recommends educating workers on laws and resources available for their protection, and strengthening enforcement mechanisms to hold wage thieves accountable.