Largest Healthcare Workers Union in America Denounces Attacks on Immigrants

March 29, 2017

Healthcare workers say that working people, both immigrants and native born, must unite to stand against hate, and fight for a fair economy with good jobs for all

“The recent surge in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids across our nation is an immoral and deplorable attack on our immigrants – documented and undocumented – our democracy and our entire citizenry.

“These actions, designed to intimidate and sow division, make a mockery of the Statue of Liberty, our nation’s symbol of welcome, compassion, justice and fairness. We along with Lady Liberty and Lady Justice grieve at the sight of families being torn apart, of parents afraid to send their children to school, workers afraid to report instances of wage theft and abuse, women unwilling to report sexual assaults and those in ill health afraid to seek care. When any group of working people is kept in the shadows and stripped of their rights, it drags down standards for all workers.

“The administration’s senseless assaults on immigrants damage our nation in countless ways. Much of the nation’s economic growth has occurred in service occupations that employ large percentages of immigrants. These immigrants include our 1199SEIU sisters and brothers who provide care in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, pharmacies and homecare agencies along the East Coast.

“We in 1199SEIU strongly denounce these vicious raids. And we will continue to join hands with our allies and people of good will to defend the victims of these attacks. We believe the way forward is through unity and providing a path to citizenship for hardworking immigrants who contribute to our nation. We will not let the forces of hate divide us or deter us from our mission for quality healthcare, jobs with a living wage, and economic and social justice for all.” -George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest healthcare union in the nation.