May 1, 2009
WASHINGTON – The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) today released the following statement in response to an announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that the agency would be making policy changes with regard to workplace immigration raids:
“This announcement marks an important shift in policy that will end the heavy handed, headline-grabbing tactics that were the hallmark of the Bush administration.
“It is clear that the Bush administration used workplace raids as an attempt to cover up its failure to address the broader challenge of addressing the root causes of our broken immigration system. The result was workplace raids that led to clear Constitutional violations, including the detention of U.S. citizens, as well as the devastation and destruction of innocent families and communities.
“The announcement today is an important step in the right direction. It creates a system that will punish bad employers. It will help ensure that businesses that try to game the system, exploit vulnerable workers or attempt to drive down wages and working conditions are held accountable.
“But, as President Obama has said, we cannot address immigration reform in a piecemeal fashion, we must do it comprehensively. Enforcement is only one part of this issue.
“Change to Win and the AFL-CIO recently unveiled an immigration framework that will address all of the interconnecting parts of this complicated issue. We look forward to working closely with Congress and the Obama administration to pass an immigration system that works for America’s workers, and that upholds the values of our nation.
“We are a nation that respects hard work, family and the pursuit of the American Dream. Our immigration system must hold true to these principles.”