June 8, 2007

UFCW Urges Congress to Redouble Efforts on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

For Immediate Release                                                                   June 8, 2007

United Food and Commercial Workers International UnionUrges Congress to Redouble Efforts on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Responsibility to Fix Broken Immigration System Remains Despite Senate Action to Pull Latest Bill


Washington DC—All workers deserve immigration reform that respects the fundamental American values of inclusion and democracy.

Last night’s stumble does not relieve the U.S. Senate of responsibility of continuing on path of reforming our broken immigration system.

Approximately 12 million workers who go to work every day, pay taxes and contribute to their communities remain on the edge of hope without a path to fully participate in our democratic system and to achieve the American dream. This intolerable situation must end.

Meanwhile, too many corporations have played our dysfunctional immigration system for their own gain, leaving workers—both immigrant and native-born—to endure the price of abuse and deteriorating workplace standards.

The government’s reliance on worksite raids as a substitute for immigration policy only exacerbates the failings of our current system, disrupting families, workplaces, local economies, and communities. Employers who recruit, hire and, often times, exploit undocumented workers have faced virtually no penalty.

The UFCW remains committed to working with all members of Congress on achieving meaningful immigration reform that is consistent with fundamental American values and protects all workers. Guestworker provisions, including any expansion of existing programs, inherently undermine the very ideals and values our country was built on, creating an underclass of workers and engendering racial and other discriminatory attitudes toward individuals who are afforded neither full rights on the job nor participation in our society.

The legislation debated by the Senate is far from perfect, but it represents an opportunity to work toward meaningful reform.  The UFCW will continue to work with our 1.3 million members, community partners and lawmakers to make immigration reform a reality.