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Have you been extorted at your workplace in the United States?

Hi! My name is Javier Padilla, I'm a migrant guestworker with an H-2B visa in the United States and in these lines, I write a little about my experiences and the motive that brought me to find help with the Centro de los Derechos del Migrante.

In the search to improve the well being of my family, 2018 the opportunity arrived to go and work in the United States hired with a guestworker visa, for me it was a new experience to leave my country and my family and begin a new challenge in my life. Full of dreams,  objectives, and goals I arrived in a country with a language and culture different from my place of origin.

In the beginning, everything was fine, the work was good, I was beginning to adapt to my new work life, everything went fine until the moment when companions of work using the position and experience in the company started asking me for favors outside of work. The first times they only asked me to pay for the beers bears and the lunch, but it was not enough, the requests over time became more and more constant and not only with me but also with other colleagues, even to the point of charging us a fee in order to keep our job with the company, with threats and intimidation. On many occasions, we were forced to accept out of fear of losing our jobs.

The moment arrived in which the pressure from these supervisors of the company was so strong, frustrating, and even humiliating, I decided to find help. I was afraid and feared losing my job, but true to my beliefs and principles, and eager to do the right thing I found in the Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, they gave me advice and tools to face the problem that I faced at this time. Recently these people were separated from their position in the company and thanks to them the extortion ended, there is a better work environment, there is tranquility among the workers.

I hope my testimony serves as an example for all those people who live in a similar situation to not allow this and other types of injustices inside their workplaces, remember we have rights and we must not remain silent, there are institutions and associations willing to help us.

Just like Javier, you can contact the Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc., from Mexico at  8005901773, from EEUU at  855 234 9699. To be attended in  Mixteco you can call 9535530517. All advice is completely free and confidential.