Some 1.8 million undocumented immigrants call Texas home. Texas has the second largest undocumented population behind California, making up an estimated 9% of the state’s labor force. Undocumented workers are disproportionately represented in low wage industries. In the construction industry, which employs the majority of WDP’s members, 50% of workers are undocumented.
Principles for Fair and Humane Immigration Reform
As a workers’ rights organization, WDP believes that comprehensive immigration reform is a necessary step in protecting all workers’ rights and ending abusive treatment of undocumented immigrants. Texas and the nation need immigration reform that keeps families together, honors the hard work and contributions of immigrants, rewards honest businesses, and creates a system that works for businesses and workers.
Why Use the Term “Undocumented”?
Most civil rights organizations consider the term “illegal alien” to be derogatory and legally inaccurate. The word “illegal” carries a series of negative implications. For example, it is often assumed that “illegal” people have no civil or workplace rights, when in fact, all people have rights regardless of immigration status. Additionally, some people falsely think that entering the country without a visa is a felony crime, when in fact it is a civil violation (such as not paying your taxes accurately). “Undocumented” is a more accurate term, as it simply means an immigrant’s status is not documented by immigration authorities.