As the latest push for immigration reform begins in earnest, the real faces of this issue are going to make themselves heard. It’s precisely why we helped plan a major convening of immigrant workers in Washington, DC, this week with our friends at United Workers Congress.
Sarita Gupta, our Executive Director, explains, “Immigrants who work in our country and contribute to our economy every day came to Capitol Hill to ensure that any discussion on immigration reform advances their needs and rights on the job. Workers’ rights advocates will be supporting their efforts knowing that we can’t afford any immigration policies that drag workplace standards down and create any more inequity in our economy.”
More than 250 immigrant workers and labor activists kicked off efforts nationwide to ensure that immigrant workers themselves shape immigration reform and are fully included in the policy debate. Their platform for immigration reform includes a clear, just, and inclusive path to citizenship for all 11 million immigrants, an immediate end to deportations, and strong defense of workers’ labor, employment, and civil rights, including the right to organize and protections against cruel employer retaliation through the adoption of policies in the POWER Act.
The inspiring laborers, domestic workers, caregivers, and activists garnered major respect and media attention throughout their convening. They held a State of the Union watch party and attended the first Senate hearing on immigration. They also shared their personal stories about why they must be included and workers’ rights must be advanced in immigration reform at an event with Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL-4) and in lobby meetings with dozens of Congressional leaders and caucuses.
Men and women should always have a voice in the workplace, in democracy, and in the social and economic policies shaping their everyday lives. Whether through immigration reform or our Caring Across Generations, Walmart, or POWER campaigns, we’re committed to fighting for workers who either by law or practice are excluded from core labor protections.