WASHINGTON, D.C. — Over 80 leaders of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) from across the United States today wrote President Obama in support of comprehensive immigration reform.
“As leaders of the (UFCW) from every corner of America, we strongly support your call for comprehensive immigration reform,” the letter read. “The time to create a principled, legal immigration system that treats all immigrants with respect and dignity is right now.”
The UFCW has been a leader on immigration reform for decades. Following the raids of Swift plants in 2006, the union spearheaded a national commission to investigate whether U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) violated the due process rights of workers.
“Immigration is very personal to us,” said UFCW International President Joe Hansen, who joined President Obama last month in Las Vegas when he unveiled his comprehensive immigration reform plan. ”We remember the ICE raids where our members were treated like criminals. We remember the hearings that followed where we heard the stories of workers terrorized just for doing their jobs.”
“It doesn’t make sense for our country to spend billions of dollars breaking up families, harassing workers, and deporting people who are simply trying to achieve the American Dream,” Hansen continued. “2013 is the year for comprehensive immigration reform.”
The UFCW supports reform that includes a roadmap to citizenship for those already here, an effective mechanism for determining employment eligibility, smart and humane border enforcement, streamlined family reunification, and a fair process for allocating employment based visas.
“(Immigrants) work hard, pay taxes, and make our communities stronger,” the letter from UFCW leaders read. “Yet despite these important contributions, they are too often cast into the shadows. Our future success as a nation depends upon the ability of these immigrants to become full American citizens.”