A group of foreign guestworkers lured from Mexico and Guatemala to plant pine trees for Eller and Sons Trees, Inc., one of the nation’s largest forestry contractors, were not paid the wages they had earned. The Southern Poverty Law Center sued the Franklin, Ga., company on behalf of the workers, winning a record $11.8 million judgment in October 2012..
Each year, thousands of immigrant children are detained and deported. Alone, unable to speak English, and without lawyers, they wait in detention centers to learn their fate. The Center filed a groundbreaking lawsuit to establish their right to legal representation, but the case was dismissed. The district court ruled that children do not have a legal right to an attorney during removal proceedings.
Prior to a Center suit, Alabama immigrants seeking to obtain their state driver's license were turned away or asked to complete the English-only tests. Although the case was ultimately lost on appeal, due to the Center's lawsuit Alabama now offers the driver's license test in eight foreign languages.
An Alabama tax assessor who used racial slurs denied tax exemptions to non-English speaking immigrant homeowners, and forced them to pay double the normal taxes. The Center filed suit, ending this discriminatory policy and securing reimbursements.