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Requesting A Statement of Interest From the NYS Department of Labor

Workers who are experiencing a labor dispute at their worksite can notify DOL of the labor dispute and request that DOL submit a “Statement of DOL Interest” in support of a request to DHS for immigration-related prosecutorial discretion. USCIS will grant deferred action to victims of workplace labor violations in order to ensure that immigrant workers cooperate with investigators and report violations to ensure employers comply with regulations. You can find the DHS Policy Statement 065-06 detailing this policy, “Worksite Enforcement: The Strategy to Protect the American Labor Market, the Conditions of the American Worksite, and the Dignity of the Individual.

Requesters should send the request to statementrequests@dol.gov with the subject line “Request for Statement of DOL Interest.” In the emailed request, requesters are encouraged to provide enough information for the Department to identify the worksite that is the subject of the labor dispute.

DOL may consider in responding to these requests, including but not limited to:

• A description of the labor dispute and how it is related to the laws enforced by DOL;

• A description of any retaliation or threats workers at the worksite may have witnessed or experienced related to labor disputes; and

• A description of how fear among workers at the worksite of potential immigration-related retaliation or other immigration enforcement in the future is likely to deter workers from reporting violations related to the labor dispute to DOL or otherwise cooperating with DOL. As relevant, please specify the time, place, and manner of any such facts.

What factors will the Department consider when deciding whether to provide a Statement of DOL Interest in a worksite’s labor dispute?

DOL will assess each request on a case-by-case basis and in consideration of its specific enforcement needs. Factors that may be considered include, but are not limited to:

• DOL’s need for witnesses to participate in its investigation and/or possible enforcement;

• Whether DHS’s use of immigration-related prosecutorial discretion would support DOL’s interest in holding labor law violators accountable for such violations;

• Whether workers are experiencing retaliation, threats of retaliation, or fear retaliation and/or may be “chilled” from reporting violations of the law or participating in DOL enforcement;

• Whether immigration enforcement concerning workers who may be witnesses to or victims of a violation of laws within DOL’s jurisdiction could impede DOL’s ability to enforce the labor laws or provide all available remedies within its jurisdiction;

• Likelihood that immigration enforcement could be an instrument used to undermine DOL’s enforcement of laws in the geographic area or industry and/or give rise to further immigration-based retaliation.

The Department will weigh factors listed above based on the specific circumstances of the labor dispute. DOL may contact the requester with questions or for additional information necessary to evaluate the request

More information is available on the NYS DOL Website.

NYS DOL May Also Certify a Supplement B for a U Visa Applicant

Requesting U Visa Certification from the NYS DOL

The U Visa provides immigration status for victims of certain serious crimes, who have suffered substantial physical or mental harm, and are helpful to law enforcement, including the NYS DOL, in the detection, investigation, or prosecution of the criminal activity. The U Visa was created to encourage immigrants who may be wary of interacting with law enforcement to come forward and report when they have been a victim of a crime.

U visa eligibility criteria can be found on the USCIS website U Visa page. An applicant must submit certification from a law enforcement agency establishing that they:

  • were helpful, or
  • are helpful, or
  • will be helpful to law enforcement in the detection, investigation, or prosecution of the crime (unless the applicant is under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability).