"Those of us who are undocumented workers, we have a feeling that if we protest we will be deported or somehow be harmed by the law," says Manuel.
Thousands of immigrants marched to the White House Saturday, demanding that undocumented workers be granted amnesty: legal status in America. Manuel made the trip from New York.
The protestors believe the U.S. government should spend less time deporting undocumented workers and more time protecting them from abuse by employers.
"People are doing jobs that no one else will take," says Roberto Alonzo, of the organization Mexican-Americans of Texas. They, I believe, should be protected and I believe that is...an obligation of the United States."
The U.S. Labor Department agrees. It says under the law now, cases like Manuel's should never happen.
"Our labor laws apply to all workers in the country, irrespective of their immigrations status," says John Frasier, who works for the Wage and Hour division of the U.S. Department of Labor. "And we will not identify workers to the Immigration Service, employers or others."
Immigrant activists believe the politics of immigration are changing, that the booming economy will require even more alien labor - leaving Congress no choice but amnesty.