SEIU Statement on ICE Enforcement in the Twin Cities

Published November 10, 2009 11:39 AM

Ali Jost, (202) 730-7159,

Washington, DC–SEIU issued the following statement regarding ICE enforcement in the Twin Cities:

“Enforcement without comprehensive reform is like redecorating when the house is on fire. Instead of solving problems, it only succeeds in pushing undocumented workers away from responsible employers and deeper into the shadows–benefitting the most unscrupulous off-the-books employers and degrading the quality of life for the rest of us. In the end, we are no where closer to solving the broken immigration system: communities lose; responsible businesses lose; families lose.

“We cannot enforce our way out of this problem. According to Pew Hispanic Center, more than one in 20 workers–performing critical jobs across industries and throughout the country–are unauthorized. Estimated to cost well over $200 billion, it is neither desirable nor feasible to deport 12 million people living and working in our communities. In the absence of comprehensive reform, workplace enforcement that is not part of a broader strategy leads to a chaotic churning of the workplace that benefits no one. 

“It’s time for Congress to focus on fixing the root causes of our broken immigration system. Our immigration problems will not go away until we get unauthorized immigrants into the system–get them to pass background checks, pay fines, learn English and become U.S. citizens. It’s time to rebuild our immigration system so that it strengthens our economy, supports working families, and restores the rule of law for the long-term. Now is the time.”

SEIU’s Comprehensive Immigration Reform Principles: 
A comprehensive solution would couple enforcement at the border and in the workplace with a path to earned legalization for all hard working immigrants. It will also replace guest worker programs with a system that guarantees immigrant workers full labor and civil rights protections, and a road to U.S. citizenship. Done together, these reforms will finally restore the rule of law and eliminate an informal labor market that drives down wages and labor protections for all U.S. workers. Read more about the Change to Win and AFL-CIO’s Unified Immigration Reform Framework.

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