The UAW commends the bipartisan Gang of 8 for introducing sensible legislation to reform our broken immigration laws. It commends President Obama for his leadership on the issue and for making it a top priority for his administration. While we do not agree with every provision in the bill, it does take important steps forward.
“Our country’s immigration system is broken. Without a pathway to citizenship, millions of workers are forced into a shadow economy and exploited by unscrupulous employers,” UAW President Bob King said.
“That drives down wages and working conditions for all workers, and puts employers who want to do the right thing at a competitive disadvantage. Who wins when undocumented immigrants live in fear? Only employers who take advantage of them win. The rest of us lose. Comprehensive immigration reform supports the right of all workers to a voice on the job and a decent standard of living for their families. It’s past time to lift the fear of deportation for individuals who are contributing to our country.
“We also want to recognize our nation’s Dreamers for their courage and resilience. The Dreamers’ hard work has been truly inspirational and we look forward to continuing to work alongside them for a fair, bipartisan bill.” “The current system divides families and forces workers to live in fear,” added UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, who leads the union’s organizing efforts in the auto parts industry.
“No child should be separated from their parents. Too many children go to school in the morning not knowing whether their parent will be home when they return. Our country can do better for our families. Policies that separate spouses and tear children from their parents are anti-family – and yet, that’s what our broken immigration system does. Between July 1, 2010, and Sept. 31, 2012, nearly 23 percent of all deportations — or, 204,810 deportations — were issued for parents with citizen children.”
With the introduction of this bill, King expressed optimism that Congress would act soon to pass a comprehensive measure adopting the framework set out by the President.
“The UAW will work hard with our allies in the labor, immigration rights, women’s rights, civil rights, environmental and LGBT movements, and all those who care about a more just society, to ensure that Congress sends a comprehensive reform bill with a path to citizenship to President Obama’s desk this summer,” King said.
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