JUSTICE: Full Rights for Immigrant Workers on May Day
A statement of Gloria Meneses Sandoval, Secretary of Immigration, for the Green Shadow Cabinet on May Day, 2013 .
The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744), is an 844 page document presented by the so-called “Gang of 8” – consisting of four Democrats and four Republican Senators. The actual name of this bill should be the Border Militarization, National ID, Corporate and Prison Subsidy, and Family Separation Act. In place of full citizenship, this Act attempts to stabilize and maintain the second-class status of non-citizen immigrants.
The immigrant communities have long been waiting for real reform and took their cause to the streets in the 2006 May Day Marches that took place throughout the United States. The immigrant population focused on the 2008 and 2012 elections with the, “Yesterday we marched, today we vote” slogan, and a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was introduced by President Obama in August of 2012, netting him 73% of the Latino vote, as well as significant numbers of Asian, African-American, and Caucasian voters. And while DACA became a short-term work option for some Dreamers – those whose families can afford an average $500 to $1,000 for each family member that qualifies – it resulted in no adjustment of permanent status. In DACA’s first year, the Obama administration deported 400,000 immigrants, nearly as many as have applied for the DACA program itself.
This International Workers Day, as marchers across the United States again demand full and equal rights for immigrant workers, including the right to unionize, we agree and call for a moratorium on all detentions and deportations, an end to the separation of families, the renegotiation of NAFTA and CAFTA and other international policies that have produced an unparalleled international migration, and for citizenship, not second-class status, for all working people in this country. It is time to ensure, protect, and prioritize the human rights and needs of all migrants and all people living in the United States and beyond. Inclusion, not exclusion!