No Human Being is Illegal - AFSCME 3800 Supports Immigration Reform

From our founding, AFSCME 3800 has stood proudly for the rights of all workers, and as such, we join the rest of the labor movement in supporting immigration reform.

In a major speech on January 29, President Obama said now is the time for immigration reform. Two days earlier, a bipartisan group of 8 Senators put forward their framework for immigration reform. It appears that indeed now is the time that, for the first time since 1986, a serious immigration bill may pass. So far, there is only a proposed framework. The discussion is just starting, and will go on for several months before Congress actually votes on a bill.

The question is, will that bill be one that helps bring immigrant workers out of the shadows so they have the same rights as everyone else, including labor rights, or will the bill get transformed by anti-immigrant politicians into something harms workers, divides immigrant families, and gives a massive gift of ‘guest worker’ programs to big corporations.

Unions around the country are starting to educate and mobilize workers about why immigration reform is needed to recognize the basic human and labor rights of over 11 million people living and working in this country.

Like the rest of the labor movement, AFSCME Local 3800 supports immigration reform. But we have problems with the framework put forward so far in the Senate – it’s too heavy on repression and too light on rights and equality for immigrant workers. We will do what we can to push for genuine immigration reform that puts the needs and interests of workers first, not the interests of big corporations or politicians who are obsessed with keeping workers from Latin America and elsewhere out of the country.

As one way to support genuine immigration reform, at our January 2013 membership meeting we endorsed a statement of principles for immigration reform – standing up for the principles of legalization and full equality for all workers, and standing against proposals that would bring more repression upon immigrant workers at the U.S.-Mexico border or in the workplace.

You can read the statement here. We encourage you to read it, and to talk with your co-workers, family and friends about it.