Resolution 23: Fair and Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Submitted by the Alameda (Calif.) Labor Council

Referred to the Resolutions Committee

WHEREAS, there are 11 million undocumented immigrants contributing to the American economy and community that are being denied basic rights and protections;

WHEREAS, the County of Alameda is home to approximately 500,000 immigrants with 124,000 undocumented and historically has Sanctuary Cities (Berkeley, Oakland) for all immigrants regardless of legal status;

WHEREAS, anti-immigrant programs such as Secure Communities (S-COMM) resulted in the deportations of over 90,000 Californians to date and continues to incite fear and terror in immigrant communities threatening public safety for us all;

WHEREAS, the rate of deportations is at a record high with 34,000 individuals  being deported daily tragically separating thousands of families;

WHEREAS, family unity has been threatened by a broken immigration system that imposes unnecessary wait times for sponsorships leaving millions awaiting reunification for decades;

WHEREAS, immigration reform must create a fair process respecting human dignity and family unity, including protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) families;

WHEREAS, working people are strongest when working together and the labor movement is strongest when it is open to all workers, regardless of where they come from;

WHEREAS, we as a labor movement have previously called for inclusive reform of our immigration laws, and adopted a position that demands a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented workers, the strengthening of family reunification as the basis of immigration policy, protection of the right to organize for all workers, the repeal of employer  sanctions, and opposition to guest worker programs; and

WHEREAS, the AFL-CIO is committed to working together on the side of justice for all, along with community partners, including civil rights, human rights and immigrant rights organizations, to pass immigration reform that encompasses the principles of this resolution and that strengthens our democracy;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AFL-CIO calls on Congress to create a fair, humane roadmap to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants that is broad and inclusive and not contingent upon border security measures or going to the “back of the line” of prospective immigrants;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the AFL-CIO supports family reunification by increasing legal avenues for loved ones to reunite with each other and by reducing unreasonable wait times that keep families separated;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the AFL-CIO calls on Congress to ensure due process and protections at every level of immigration and to reinstate judicial review;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the AFL-CIO calls for the end of enforcement programs such as Secure Communities, racial and ethnic profiling, and the excessive use of detention, including mandatory and prolonged detention;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO supports a reform on border enforcement by establishing safe and efficient ports of entry that promote public safety and uphold civil and human rights;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO calls upon Congress to provide immigrants with equal access to healthcare and other public benefits;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO rejects the use of electronic employment verification systems, such as E-verify which builds upon the flawed employer sanctions framework and pushes workers into an underground economy where workplace abuses are prevalent;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO calls on Congress to ensure full labor and workplace rights and protections for all workers regardless of immigration status, including the right to organize and enforce worker protections without retaliation;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the AFL-CIO supports immigration reform that will also address the root causes of forced migration by reforming our international trade policies to protect workers and families of all nations.