WASHINGTON – United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International President Joseph T. Hansen released the following statement today in response to the Obama Administration’s decision to challenge the state of Arizona’s recently passed immigration law, S.B. 1070. In May, the UFCW joined major civil rights, civil liberties and other labor organizations in filing a federal lawsuit challenging the law:
“It is clear that Arizona’s immigration bill is a recipe for racial profiling that runs counter to the values and ideals that make our nation strong.
“The decision by the Justice Department to challenge this law is a clear sign that enforcing immigration law is the role of the federal government.
“We applaud the Justice Department and the Obama Administration for its vigorous defense of our Constitution and for protecting and advocating on behalf of working people across the country.
“”Our broken immigration system cannot be fixed through a patchwork of piecemeal proposals. We need a comprehensive overhaul at the federal level, not short-sighted, politically motivated laws enacted on a state-by-state basis.
“America needs a 21st century immigration system that works for the American worker—a system where undocumented workers can come out of the shadows and get right with the law, a system where all workers can see their job and earnings prospects strengthened because bottom feeding employers are no longer given free reign to hire and abuse undocumented immigrants, and a system where all workers can speak up without fear of retaliation.
“It is unfortunate that many Republicans seem more focused on political expediency and personal job security than on our national and economic security, our liberty and the defense of our Constitution.
“In recent years, there have been politicians—on both sides of the aisle—who have shown real leadership, courage and commitment on this issue. For the sake of our nation, it is time for them to once again come together and lead our country forward.
“All across the country, UFCW locals and our members are organizing and mobilizing our communities around the importance of comprehensive immigration reform and protecting workers’ constitutional rights.
“Together, we can bring stability and security to our economy, to our borders and to our families. Together, we can refocus this debate on real, meaningful comprehensive immigration reform that restores the rule of law, respects the constitutional rights of all workers, and recognizes the incredible role that our nation’s diversity has played—and will continue to play—in making our communities strong and vibrant.”