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  • Human Rights Research Center

Protecting Immigrant Workers in the Wake of Baltimore Bridge Collapse Tragedy

April 1, 2024

Cited article from the Washington Post

HRRC emphasizes the urgent need to recognize the rights and welfare of immigrant laborers in the United States, particularly in the construction industry, through the lens of the recent tragedy of the Baltimore Bridge collapse. HRRC urges the need for legislative action and reforms to improve safety measures and better protect vulnerable workers.

News Brief

The recent collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, which claimed the lives of six workers, has brought to light the vulnerability of immigrant laborers in the United States. This tragic incident comes less than a year after a speeding car killed six workers, including Maritza Guzman de Villatoro's husband and brother-in-law, on the same highway. The victims of the bridge collapse, hailing from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, were working in precarious conditions, highlighting the dangers faced by immigrant workers, who often engage in hazardous jobs while enduring economic hardships and the fear of immigration enforcement.

While efforts are being made to improve safety measures, such as proposed legislation to enhance safety in highway work zones, the repeated tragedies underscore the need for broader reforms to protect vulnerable workers. Hispanic and Latino workers, particularly those in the construction industry, face disproportionately high fatality rates, according to federal data. Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA, emphasizes the necessity of legislative action to prevent similar incidents in the future and provide better protection for immigrant workers, who contribute significantly to the U.S. economy but often labor under precarious conditions.


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