Chief Legal Counsel
Illinois Department of Labor
Yolanda focuses her work on advocating for low-wage workers in Illinois. Through this work, Yolanda has identified issues that critically affect the rural immigrant worker community that is also the victim of crimes. Within this community, a significant issue is the lack of access to benefits available for immigrant victims of crime. The issue arises from this community lacking access to individuals who can help victims apply for the benefits and from improper processing of benefits, requiring appeals. Yolanda’s project has sought to create a bridge between this community and individuals equipped to assist them in applying and receiving the benefits they are entitled to. The project has also sought to advocate for improved processing of these benefits by key stakeholders. This work is critical to improve the health outcomes of members of this community because without these benefits, they are left in a precarious position given their rural location, immigration status, and status as victims of crimes.
MORE ABOUT YOLANDA
Yolanda is an attorney who has advocated for low-wage workers with various issues such as working without proper safety equipment, pesticide exposure, impact of the public charge rule, food insecurity, and substandard living conditions. This work has allowed her to develop a perspective on public health through the lens of low-wage work and how it necessarily impacts health outcomes.