Issued October 12, 2021
Washington, D.C. -- Rocio Sáenz , Executive Vice President of the Service Employees International Union, issued the following statement in response to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new worksite enforcement guidance:
As a union of 2 million working people of all backgrounds, we’re fighting for a future where immigrants are respected, protected and paid, without fear of deportation or retaliation by employers. Today the Biden Administration is taking important steps to make life more secure and more just for all workers.
The new guidelines issued by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will end workplace raids and promise to eliminate the ability of employers to misuse immigration enforcement to intimidate and gain an advantage over workers in a labor dispute. Once these guidelines are fully in place, it will be easier for workers to assert their rights without fear of immigration-based retaliation, thereby improving the wages and working conditions of the entire workforce. This is an example of an agency listening to workers who have been organizing together and demanding action from their elected officials for changes that can improve the lives of all workers. We urge DHS to implement these guidelines as rapidly and robustly as possible.
While we celebrate this step forward, there’s much more to be done. Immigrants are the farmworkers who keep us fed, the home care workers who care for our loved ones, the janitors who keep our communities clean, the doctors who keep us safe and so much more. It’s time for Congress and the Biden Administration to go further and ensure certainty, stability and protection for immigrants by creating a pathway to citizenship. We can’t beat the virus or have a true economic recovery when millions of people and essential workers are left out or living in fear. That’s why we’ll keep fighting until we win.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) unites 2 million diverse members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. SEIU members working in the healthcare industry, in the public sector and in property services believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages and benefits and to create better communities while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy.