AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement in response to the Obama administration’s large-scale deportations:
The AFL-CIO has consistently urged the Obama administration to designate those fleeing violence in Central America as “refugees,” and to honor its legal commitments to ensure that individuals who are eligible for protective status will not be returned to danger. Instead, the shameful response of our government has been to erode due process protections by expediting legal proceedings and to lock families in remote detention facilities with little access to counsel. Now, in an inexcusable escalation and without any transparency, the Department of Homeland Security has begun conducting armed home raids in order to deport vulnerable women and children back to some of the most dangerous countries in the world.
These devastating and disgraceful raids have instilled fear in communities around the country, tearing hundreds of families apart and causing already traumatized parents to stay home from work and keep their children home from school.
The AFL-CIO and our affiliates will work with faith and grassroots partners to ensure that members of our communities who are seeking refuge will not be deported back into harm’s way. Whether that means providing support for rapid response efforts, helping to ensure that communities are organized against deportations, or identifying places of sanctuary including our union halls, the labor movement will stand strong with Central American refugees until we see an end to these raids and a real commitment to ensuring full and fair legal proceedings.