HARTFORD, Conn. — The following statement may be attributed to Hector Figueroa, President of 32BJ SEIU, Hartford, Connecticut. January 25, 2017:
“President Trump’s counterproductive actions on immigration will have tragic implications for hundreds of thousands of hard-working, tax-paying immigrant and American citizens alike. His actions today do nothing more than stir panic and fear in the hearts of millions while encouraging a Wild West vigilante culture among those looking to scapegoat innocent Americans.
Punishing some of the most dynamic and welcoming cities in our country by blocking federal funding is a mean-spirited move that will surely inflict pain on our communities but won’t undermine our resolve to continue fighting for commonsense immigration reform.
Banning immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, blocking entry of asylum-seekers and building a wall with our closest neighbor and trading partner are horrendous ideas that run counter to our identity as a nation and our core values as Americans. State and local law enforcement resources must not be misspent on federal immigration enforcement activities that target working people and undermine community relations.
As a union 163,000 strong – including tens of thousands of immigrant members from countries all over the world – we will use our collective power in the days and months ahead to fight for a better future for our families, prevent deportations, and protect immigrants, Muslims and refugees.
Now, more than ever, we must unite across racial, economic and other lines to fight back against hatred, racism and bigotry.
Trump’s approach to dealing with our country’s immigration challenges is based on the ugly notion that America should expel 11 million hard-working undocumented immigrants, most of whom have worked and lived in America for more than a decade and contribute to our local economies and communities. This is both impractical and un-American. State and local law enforcement resources must not be misspent on federal immigration enforcement activities that target working people and undermine community relations.
Immigrant workers and their families are an indispensable part of our communities and economy, and a workable solution must include a path to legalization for hard-working, tax-paying immigrants. Federal Immigration reform is the only solution to this tragic and divisive scenario and the path forward is to make our voices heard everywhere.
We urge all Americans to stand up and join us in our call for the dignity, safety, and protection of our communities.”
With 155,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C — including 4,000 in the Hudson Valley —32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.