#FreeJavier: Boss Doesn’t Pay Workers & Calls ICE When They Sue!

Javier Martinez-Gonzalez and his former coworkers sued their abusive ex-boss Antonio Mondragon after he stole their wages and violated their labor rights. A week after Mondragon openly threatened to call ICE on them during a meet about the lawsuit, ICE raided Javier’s new job and took him away!

Javier and Gabriel and Rafael Diaz Valverde are plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit seeking about $10,000 in unpaid wages for roofing work they performed for Mondragon and other defendants in Alabama and Florida. The lawsuit, Valverde v. Mondragon, is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The workers’ case has garnered significant community support and media attention.

Gabriel adds that Mondragon “also threatened my brother Rafael and me. Now we’re scared that ICE will come for us too. All because Mondragon doesn’t want to pay us the wages he owes us.”

Javier has lived in Alabama for seven years. He is a hard worker who supports his aging parents. He has received some traffic tickets and paid a fine for a DUI in 2014. Under ICE’s own policy, workers fighting abuses by bosses and plaintiffs in civil and labor rights lawsuits are supposed to be protected from detention and deportation. Especially in a state like Alabama, which has very few protections for workers’ rights, allowing ICE to deport Javier will send a message to other unscrupulous employers that they are free to use ICE as a tool of retaliation and intimidation. It will drive other immigrant workers who are victims of labor rights violations back into the shadows. Demand that ICE release Javier from detention and close his case now!