The Supreme Court’s ruling in the United States v. Texas case was a setback for working families. The court could have cleared the way for millions of hardworking immigrants to finally gain a measure of increased dignity on the job and security in their lives. Instead, hardworking members of our communities, our families and our unions will continue to live in limbo and in fear.
The much-needed Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programs will extend relief and work authorization to an estimated 4 million people. When finally implemented, these programs will help to prevent exploitation and lift standards for working people. Although this fix will be temporary, it will allow millions of people to live and work without fear, and afford them the status to assert their rights on the job.
In the wake of the court’s failure to reach a decision, Donald Trump issued a divisive statement that grossly distorted the reality of what further obstruction of these deferred action programs will mean for working people. His claim that moving forward with these programs would hurt "poor African American and Hispanic workers by giving away their jobs and federal resources to illegal immigrant labor" could not be more wrong.
In fact, the only path to lifting labor standards in our country is ensuring that all working people have the ability to stand up to abuse, discrimination and unsafe conditions on the job. For far too long, our immigration system has concentrated too much power in the hands of employers, allowing them to use it as a tool to drive down wages and working conditions. The brunt of the impact has been borne by immigrant workers, who face the highest rates of wage theft, sexual harassment, and death and injury on the job. But our entire workforce suffers when we allow standards to erode as millions of workers struggle to support their families without the status to assert their rights.
Politicians and corporate CEOs who try to divide working people on the basis of immigration status and race are not our friends. The GOP has blocked all efforts to create an immigration system that will lift up and protect working people. As the GOP front-runner, Trump has doubled down on the politics of hate and division, promising to deport 11 million hardworking members of our communities and erect a wall to divide working people.
Working people know better than that, because the truth is that we are all in this together. We reject the politics of hate and division, and pledge to embrace solidarity instead. That means that we need to protect the courageous people organizing to make our communities and our workplaces better—not deport them.
The future of these important programs and more permanent solutions for working families depend on us. It was through organizing that we forced the president to create these programs and it is only through organizing that we will ensure that they are finally implemented and that elected officials cannot continue to block the progress we know we need to see in our communities.
We must not rest until all working people are able to live their lives, support their families and assert their rights without fear of deportation. We know that an organized community is a strong community, and that together, we will rise.