WHEREAS, some American Federation of Teachers locals have been participating in the Workers’ Immigrants Rights Coalition (WIRC) in solidarity with other unions and community organizations to oppose raids on workplaces targeting immigrant workers, particularly when they are engaged in union organizing and other activities for social and economic justice; and
WHEREAS, some AFT locals and labor organizations have expressed support for the following principles:
- No Second-Class Workers — An immediate end to any programs, policies and legislation that directly or indirectly curtail immigrant labor and employment rights. Such programs include electronic verification, guest worker programs, misuse of no-match letters and employer sanctions. Programs or policies that infringe upon workers’ rights to stand up on the job weaken the labor movement as a whole.
- An End to Raids — We oppose proposals that would criminalize immigrants, allow mass deportations or deny people their civil and human rights. Immigration raids and terminating workers listed in no-match letters are attacks on our unions and all workers, not just on immigrants. They create a climate of fear and intimidation in our workplaces and our communities and are often used to settle workers’ attempts to improve their working conditions.
- Legalization and Family Reunification — We support policies that allow workers to participate fully in their families, communities and engage in civic responsibilities. This includes the right to family reunification and unconditional legalization and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the United States, and an end to trade policies that foster poverty and the separation of families and migration.
WHEREAS, labor and our allies in the community must speak with a united voice, so that President Obama and Congress will hear what workers want for immigration reform and not succumb to corporate lobbying for second-class workers or racists who want to scapegoat our Latin American neighbors for the recent economic downturn:
RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers adopt the same three principles listed above and make every effort for these three principles to become the core of AFL-CIO policy on immigration reform; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT express these values for unity with immigrants to our elected officials in all our electoral and lobbying work nationally.