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One of the most heavily discussed political issues of the day is how to handle the influx of undocumented immigrants entering the United States. The contentious nature of this political issue can lead to a great deal of uncertainty with regard to how enforcement of immigration is carried out, something that seems to change almost day by day. This can be of particular concern to workers who suffer construction site injuries because that field attracts large amounts of undocumented immigrants.

Unethical contractors may choose to hire undocumented workers, and then seek to threaten or intimidate them using the possibility of deportation to ensure that they do not bring lawsuits against the contractors for injuries. Even undocumented workers employed by honest contractors do not know whether their status will affect their ability to access the United States court system. Fortunately, neither of these issues should concern undocumented workers who have experienced an injury on the construction site at which they work.

Fear of Deportation

Unscrupulous employers often mislead undocumented workers into believing that they cannot fight for their rights in court because doing so will result in deportation back to their home country. However, this is not actually the case. Numerous federal court decisions from across the country support the idea that undocumented immigrants need not fear deportation just because they file a suit in civil court. Civil courts will not report undocumented immigrants who file cases, and discovery into a person's immigration status is usually not allowed by the court since it is seldom relevant to the civil suit.

This safeguard exists because courts respect the rights of undocumented immigrants as human beings. If courts were to report undocumented immigrants who brought civil suits, it would prevent them from accessing the court system. This would allow unethical contractors to abuse undocumented workers and violate their rights without reproach. Courts will not countenance such abuse.

The Right to Sue

Apart from concerns about deportation, many undocumented workers question whether they even have the right to bring civil suits in the first place since they are not U.S. citizens. In New York state, the leading case on this issue is Balbuena v.IDR Realty LLC. That case involves an undocumented construction worker who was working for the defendants when he fell from a ramp, suffering a debilitating head injury that left him without the ability to work. In that case, the New York State Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, decided that, despite the fact that Mr. Balbuena was not in the country legally, he still had the right to a safe work environment and the ability to collect for his injuries.

Regardless of your immigration status, if you have been injured on a construction site, you may have the right to full and fair compensation for your injuries. Seek the aid of an experienced New York City construction accident attorney today.

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