Sisters and Brothers,
Earlier today the Supreme Court issued a 4 to 4 split decision in US v Texas. This is a blow against millions of working families, including members of SEIU Local 721.
Across the country, more than 16 million Americans live in what are called, “mixed status families.” This means that a spouse, child, parent, or other members of the household lives as an undocumented immigrant, alongside other members of the same family who have Work Visas, Green Cards, or US Citizenship. Because this decision does not allow the implementation of the DACA and DAPA programs proposed by President Obama, the loved ones of rank and file members are in limbo.
Today’s decision maintains the status quo of a broken and unworkable immigration system. There is no one line with one set of rules for immigrants to follow. Nearly half of those who are now undocumented were visa holders who lost their status because of bureaucracy, human error, or arbitrary decision-making. Our Sisters and Brothers from countries like Mexico and the Philippines have to wait over two decades to reunify with a spouse or child. Because they arrived as children, and call the US home, two million would have been DACA eligible. Because they help head households in which their spouses and children are Permanent Residents or US Citizens, four million would have been DAPA eligible. Now their fate is in our hands.
Obstructionists in the Senate refuse to vote on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. Obstructionists in the House of Representatives refuse to vote on common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. Because the President nominates Supreme Court Justices, we need to pick the next President of the United States. Because Congress is the only body that can fix the broken and unworkable immigration system now in place, we need to take control of the House and Senate.
The future of immigrant families is synonymous with the future of working families. In our Union, solidarity means we look out and speak up for one another in the workplace and outside of it. Our diversity binds us. We are stronger together.
President, SEIU Local 721