The U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup temporarily blocked the Trump Administration’s repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on January 9, 2018, and restored protections to hundreds of thousands of deserving immigrants pending a final decision by the court.
The judge’s decision came in response to a motion filed jointly by SEIU Local 521 on behalf of our members and the County of Santa Clara in October, and four more lawsuits from individual DACA recipients, the State of California, the University of California, and the City of San Jose. This legal action is the first in the nation filed jointly by an employer and a labor union on behalf of DACA beneficiary employees. Click here for more information on the joint lawsuit.
“This decision is a major victory for DACA holders. It recognizes that the government can’t first promise DACA recipients a future in this country, and then abruptly rip that future away. This victory will go a long way to prevent further harm to our workers and the community we serve in our jobs as we continue to fight to keep DACA alive.”
– Riko Mendez, SEIU Local 521 Chief Elected Officer
As a union, we rely heavily on the ability to come together, support one another, and mobilize to action. We believe that our work for a just society must include immigrants and DACA recipients, many of whom are our members, or family members of the workers we represent. Workers split up and pitted against one another by race or immigration status only helps the corporate and anti-worker agenda.
“I am heartened by the decision of the U.S. District Court Judge. I am proud to stand alongside my coworkers, friends, and neighbors who are themselves DACA recipients or have loved ones that are DACA recipients.”
– Mullissa Willette, SEIU Local 521 Executive Board Secretary
“The United States of America is a nation founded by immigrants from all corners of the world. President Trump’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is cruel and benefits no one. The elimination of DACA would result in a major loss of funds in our economy, and would remove hundreds of thousands of working people from our work force. President Trump had family members immigrate to this country just as my forefathers did years ago. What makes him think that he and his family are so different? I urge everyone to stand together to stop this insanity now.”
– Carmella DiSopa, Chairperson of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance in San Jose, California; Revenue Collections Officer for the County of Santa Clara; SEIU Local 521 Union Member and Chief Steward
“As a Public Health Nurse for the County of Santa Clara, I serve a wide variety of patient populations, including immigrants. Ending DACA will separate and destroy families, create trauma, and definitely hurt children in our communities. As a county, state and country, we have to seriously analyze the ramifications of the actions that we do right now. Ending DACA will have enormous negative consequences for Santa Clara County, California and America, economically and socially. It is not the fault of our DACA recipients who were brought into this country as children. Now that they are thriving and contributors to our society, ending DACA doesn’t make sense at all! It is also inhumane. Let us be clear-minder and remain on high moral grounds. Ending DACA is just NOT right!”
– Marilyn Mara, RN, MSN, Regional Public Health Nurse for the County of Santa Clara; SEIU Local 521 Union Member and Steward
“As an American-born citizen I feel very privileged to live in a country where there is opportunity to grow, contribute to our community, and live knowing that we have freedom. The Trump Administration is discriminating the Latino community in the repeal of DACA. All DACA recipients are young people who have gone through a screening process and paid fees. They were promised a legal way to stay in United States. They are patriotic, educated and pay their taxes; they have no other home, but the United States. As union members, we support TPS and DACA recipients. Without the DACA recipients, the United States will lose tax money and funds for Social Security and Medicare. More importantly, the world will see a nation that was once a nation founded by immigrants become a nation of hate and division.”
– Jose Santana, Program Coordinator Specialty Services at Salud Para La Gente and SEIU Local 521 Union Member
“As a social worker, I serve many disadvantaged and immigrant families, including DACA recipients. We must never forget that we are a country of immigrants. We need to remember that many DACA recipients came to live here through no choice or action of their own because they were brought here as babies and children. For these children and young adults, living here in the United States is all they remember. They are more a part of this country – and this country a part of them – than anywhere else in the world. Ethically we must put ourselves in their shoes, defend and protect them because they are us. Every second we waste make these young people wonder about their fate when they should be feeling safe, and working hard toward their future. Every second we waste is another second that we have failed in our responsibility to these young people.”
– Hector San Roman, Social Work Coordinator for the County of Santa Clara and SEIU Local 521 Union Member; Vice Chair for the Santa Clara County Chapter
This decision is a step in the right direction to protect our coworkers, as well as the DACA recipients in our community, but is not a final court decision. SEIU is committed to continue to fight for a clean Dream Act that will provide a permanent solution with a path to legal residency for deserving immigrants.
We must continue to stay united, and continue to resist the attacks against immigrants, working families, and unions. America needs good union jobs, and unions have always stepped up to protect workers’ rights and the most vulnerable in our communities. We must not let the special interest group divide us. We know that when workers stand together, we have power. To keep winning, we all need to band together and bring more people with us to win good union contracts, and uplift our communities.
Get involved at the grassroots level, and join our “Together We Rise” Team: www.seiu521.org/activist