Community activists, labor leaders and workers have vowed to defend the new deferred action programs created by President Obama’s executive action in November last year on the eve of the day when the programs would have started had they not fallen prey to a court injunction. Those involved say they will give their support to immigrants without the approval of Congress if need be.
“Far from paralyzing us, the current legal injunction of the deferred action programs further highlight something that we in the labor movement know very well: that organizing is the only real force that moves our country forward,” claimed Tefere Gebre, the executive vice-president of AFL-CIO, in a press release. Gebre was joined in his vow by Esther Lopez, the executive vice-president of UFCW; Salvador Sarmiento, the NDLON director of legislative affairs; Jim Boland, the president of BAC; and other activist leaders and organizations.
Lopez notes that May 19th should have kicked off the process whereby undocumented immigrant workers could submit their application to gain both legal rights and much-needed peace of mind, and that this would have been at least a modest step forward when it comes to fixing the nation’s broken immigration system.
“It’s clear now, we can no longer wait for justice from the courts and instead we must turn to each other as we organize ourselves on the job and in our communities to continue this fight for our rights,” says immigrant and United Workers for DC member Carlos Castillo.