LETTERS: Leaders need to protect undocumented immigrants
Although I am inspired after reading Christopher Keizur's article discussing the march to support immigrants (Peaceful march protests ICE arrests in Rockwood, supports immigrants), my fears for immigrant communities still remain strong: even in the liberal embrace of Portland, immigrants are at an even higher risk of being targeted moving forth.
I am proud to be a first-generation American in the Portland area. My family and I are proof that immigrants do not steal jobs, but rather contribute to the economy. We do not commit crimes, but rather fight to live the American Dream. It is reassuring to see movements like Pueblo Unido rising to address the needs of the Latino community in particular. Through my own work as a lobbyist working on immigration reform in Portland and in Washington D.C., I discovered the true power of a community in working towards a compassionate immigration system.
With harsh rhetoric still ringing in the ears of immigrants and immigrant communities, it is time for our Oregon leaders to step up and actively pass legislation to protect young, undocumented immigrants. The BRIDGE Act, a bipartisan bill which many interfaith activists are currently pushing for, seeks to do exactly that. I urge Oregon Senators Wyden and Merkley to cosponsor the BRIDGE Act as the first step in a movement to truly embrace all of our diverse communities.
Schedule-change bill would punish employers, workers
Senate Bill 828 may have good intentions, but they won't be fulfilled based on the actual experience from San Francisco's recently passed local ordinance with much of the same restrictions, paperwork and penalties.
Two years after the ordinance implementation a study was done on the benefits and downfalls of San Francisco's predictive scheduling. Results from the employer and employee interviews were almost identical, showing the ordinance tied the hands of retailers in responding to customer demand. It also denied employees the opportunity to pick up additional work hours at the last minute (by their choice) or request unanticipated time off (like a child's doctor's appointment).
SB 828 requires a business to pay an employee whose schedule was changed after the 14th day of posting their work schedule. Any change after the two-week posting requires the business to pay the employee for that schedule change. "Predictive" is restrictive by its very nature. When you financially penalize a business for a schedule change even initiated and requested by the employee himself (child's doctor's appointment) why would the company agree to let them change their schedule? What company would burden itself with more cost and extensive paperwork? Under our current system, employers work with employees to help them through family issues, last minute illnesses and other unanticipated responsibilities. But SB 828 would punish employers for that cooperative practice by forcing extra pay whenever a schedule changes. Yes, you read this right. So who really gets hurt? The employees. You read this right, too.