March 04, 2019 – Washington, DC
Today Working Families United, the AFL-CIO, and more than 30 national unions and labor institutions sent a letter to Congress expressing their broad support for legislation that makes the protections for TPS holders and dreamers permanent and places them on a path to citizenship. The letter urges legislators:
“As labor organizations representing millions of workers in the U.S., we urge you to renew Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations and pass legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives as soon as possible, but no later than the first 100 days of the 116th Congress, to provide permanent protection and a path to citizenship for Dreamers and individuals with TPS or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)….
…When TPS holders and Dreamers are at risk, all workers are more vulnerable to employer abuses. However, when workers, including TPS holders and Dreamers, have legal status and rights, all workplaces benefit from higher wages, safer workplaces, and the right and ability to form and join a union.”
Labor leaders from Working Families United and the AFL-CIO are available upon request. Representatives issued the following statements:
“For the labor movement, these programs have been vital in ensuring that thousands of working people have rights on the job and the freedom to negotiate together for fair pay and working conditions. It is long past due that all members of Congress work together to immediately pass immigration legislation that will give Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients a pathway to citizenship.”
– AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
“Immigrant workers are the backbone of the American hospitality industry, and the thousands of UNITE HERE workers on TPS and DACA are irreplaceable members of their families, communities, and workforces all across the country. UNITE HERE is a long time leader in the labor movement for immigrant justice, and we are proud to join with the rest of the American labor movement today in backing this urgently needed legislation. Neither our industry nor our country could sustain losing the tremendous value and strength brought to both by dedicated, long term TPS and DACA employees.”
– International President of UNITE HERE D. Taylor
“Tens of thousands of LIUNA members impacted by TPS and DACA, who literally build America – contributing to the economy and working on vital construction projects across the nation – need Congress to act immediately on legislation that provides a permanent fix for workers.” – LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan
“For humanitarian and economic reasons, this legislation must pass. Dreamers, TPS and DED recipients have, for decades, done the work that that American industries and our local economies rely on, and they deserve to stay. Many TPS recipients are members of our union, and I know that they work hard, pay their taxes and play by the rules. Deportation back to their homeland country to face violence or disaster conditions would shatter their orderly lives and our economy. Members of Congress must stand up to President Trump’s hateful, racist objections and show that we are a welcoming country, just as it has been for millions of immigrants from all corners of the world who have helped the United States become an economic engine.”
– Painters Union (IUPAT) General President Ken Rigmaiden
“Abruptly ending TPS status is inhumane and bad economic policy. TPS holders pay taxes, own homes, are parents to some 300,000 children, and are vital workers in many American industries. Our lawmakers must come together to find a solution.”
– International Bricklayers General President James Boland
“Our country’s immigration system is broken and the government’s inability to fix it is continuing to cause uncertainty for families across the country. This bill is an important step toward providing stability for so many who have already passed background checks, pay taxes, go to school, and work hard every day to build a better America. They work side by side with us, live in our communities, and are dedicated members of our union family and countless others. We can and must do better.”
– UFCW International Secretary-Treasurer Esther López
Working Families United is a coalition of seven labor unions, including the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, UNITE HERE, the Ironworkers, the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Teamsters, and Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA), representing four million members fighting for immigrant justice.
WFU formed in 2017 in response to the pending crisis caused by President Trump’s termination of Temporary Protected Status for 400,000 immigrant workers and their 275,000 US citizen children. Our members like Wilna Destin of UNITE HERE are part of the class-action lawsuit currently blocking the termination of TPS for Nicaragua, Sudan, El Salvador, and Haiti. Donaldo Posadas of the Painters’ Union is a plaintiff in a separate case for Honduras and Nepal. Meanwhile the coalition urges Congress to pass the Dream and Promise Act in the House and the Secure Act in the Senate to provide permanent protections and a path to citizenship for Dreamers and TPS holders from all affected nations.