Injured Worker Detained in Retaliation
$9,442 raised
47% of $20k goal
115 contributors
3 Years running

Wage theft and workplace injuries have long made undocumented workers more vulnerable and the current political climate and new ICE directives only make it far worse. Support is urgently needed for an injured worker who was recently detained by ICE when he went to his former employer for assistance. 

This is another story of a family being ripped apart. But this is more than that. This is an example of how ICE is being used as a tool by unscrupulous employers to retaliate against workers who have been injured on the job, and to avoid responsibility for the injuries.

This is the story of a young family with five minor children . Three of the children were born in the US and two entered as infants. They have never known another home. The parents emigrated from Honduras 17 years ago. They left their families and friends behind to escape gang and drug wars that were threatening and killing their neighbor s.

For 17 years, they worked as unskilled laborers to raise their family. They went to church each Sunday and prayed for their loved ones left behind. Their children went to school with our children.

Six weeks ago, he fell from a ladder at work. Coworkers called 911 and he was taken by ambulance to a local Boston hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to repair his shattered leg. His surgeons have advised him that he will be unable to work for at least six months. The hospital explained that he should have worker’s compensation insurance, and told him to ask his employer. His employer unlawfully failed to have workers’ compensation insurance. Thankfully, there is a fund in Massachusetts that will cover injuries when an employer is uninsured, providing life saving medical treatment and a fraction of the lost wages to help this family survive this severe injury. However, the state’s fund always seeks their money back from the uninsured employer- with interest and penalties.

Yesterday, the boss of the company called this injured worker and expressed his regrets that the man’s family was suffering, unable to buy groceries or pay for medications because the employer was uninsured. (The state’s fund takes a long time to make payments.) He’s worked for the company for eight years. The boss said "we’ll give you money to hold you over until the insurance kicks in. Come by our office and we’ll have it ready for you".

May 10th, the worker and his 2 year old child went to the company to pick up the money promised to him by his employer. He was handed an envelope containing $500.00 cash and thanked his employer. When the worker left the office, ICE was waiting for him outside. He was detained based on a call from his employer, who was seeking to avoid financial liability for the accident.

His wife received a call from police to tell her that her husband had just been arrested, and asking what to do with her infant son. A friend intervened to drive the baby to his mother, while law enforcement followed the car all the way back to the family's home.

The injured worker is currently in ICE detention in Boston. He is required to take medication to avoid life-threatening complications of his injury.


We need to raise funds to help get the worker out of detention and to help support his family.  We hope to help to raise awareness of this tragedy that is playing out across our country. It impacts our communities, our friends and neighbors and our own families.  Watch for other action alerts on the MetroWest Workers website and Facebook page. 


At 11:30am on May 22, José Flores was released to his family for deferred action due to pressure from Metrowest Worker Center, MassCOSH, and other members of the Immigrant Worker Center Collaborative and legal allies. While this is a victory, the need for financial support has increased, in order to be able to assist the entire family with legal counsel. We are so grateful for the more than $7,500 already raised. Our current goal is to raise another $12,500 for a total of $20,000.


There is now a petition that you can sign as well.    Please share that link as well.


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