I believe it is a rare event when the public can see a company take advantage of an undocumented immigrant. (1). However, you will notice that Cessna Aircraft Co. of Wichita, Kansas has provided us with a front row seat to what few companies allow to see the light of day. In the news article listed below, Cessna Aircraft with the assistance of Foulston & Seifkin–Kansas Largest Law Firm have allowed us this rare glimpse. (2).

Cessna Aircraft Co, is now a known employer of undocumented immigrants and has “realized” they hired an undocumented immigrant after one of them filed a claim for workers compensation. (3). Cessna offered their injured employee, Rogelio Ortega, $6,000 thousand dollars to settle his case and was warned not to talk to the media about his accident. Which to his credit, Mr. Ortega refused to do.

And this is not the first time a worker’s undocumented status is used as a means to lower the “pay-out” of a workers compensation claim. (4)(Just read the facts..it will tell you a lot). Under the Kansas Workers Compensation Act a company is allowed to pay an undocumented immigrant less than a person who is work authorized. As one Kansas workers compensaiton decision stated the following when limiting the undocumented alien’s award:  

  “Claimant’s illegal alien status should not be a benefit to him and burden to his employer. Oritz v. Nies Construction, Inc, Docket No. 199,812.” (5)(look through this web page to find the same).

In conclusion, it is difficult to reconcile the above-statement and Mr. Ortega’s story. As his employer got the benefit of his undocumented status and got him deported for asserting his legal rights. (6). Maybe,Mr. Ortega’s case is just another example why we need pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform, to protect the rights of those currently undocumented workers and not allow them to be used and intimidated by large corporations.

1).http://www.hutchnews.com/news/regional/stories/workers052706.shtml
2)http://www.foulston.com/
3)http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/jun/01/immigration_officials_arrest_5_cessna_workers/?state_region
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4.)http://www.kscourts.org/kscases/supct/2002/20020419/86334.htm
5.)http://www.dol.ks.gov/wcboard/CH8_RES.html#8.14a
6.) The author of this diary had no connection to the case of Mr. Ortega..to those of you who may care.

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