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AFL-CIO Now

We Can't Return to the Days of Workplace Immigration Raids

In a speech at Catholic University earlier this month, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka acknowledged the very real fear that immigrant workers in our country are feeling as President Donald Trump begins his term in office and pledged that the labor movement will stand strong and united in defense of all working people:

Donald Trump campaigned on mass deportation, on building walls, on imposing religious litmus tests. Make no mistake about it, those proposals are a violation of our founding principles and our basic humanity. Many are concerned that raids, detentions and worse will occur immediately after the president-elect takes office....

In the weeks and months ahead, if Mr. Trump does as he has promised, millions of working people will be afraid to go to work. They’ll be afraid to take their children to school, let alone speak up when they encounter abuse or exploitation. They’ll need information, they’ll need support and they’ll need active solidarity. And our homes, our communities, our workplaces and our unions will be vulnerable unless we all stand strong together. You see, the American labor movement will be part of the infrastructure of response and protection against mass deportation and any other efforts to criminalize working people.

Trumka reminded us that the workplace and community raids that shook our country a decade ago caused profound human tragedy. But just how bad was it? This sobering video (above) from the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) tells the full story and makes clear that a return to the dark days of workplace immigration raids would threaten the rights and constitutional protections of all working people in our country.

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