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32BJ Fight on behalf of the undocumented

Stephon Johnson | 2/16/2017, 1:24 p.m.
A local union is making its collective voice heard on the immigration front.
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A local union is making its collective voice heard on the immigration front.

The union, 32BJ, has pushed back against the recent check points by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents around the country that have already captured dozens of undocumented workers. The president of 32BJ, Hector Figueroa, isn’t a fan of President Donald Trump’s actions toward immigrants.

“As a labor union representing thousands of immigrant workers, we are greatly disturbed by the recent raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on hundreds of hardworking immigrants in six states,” said Figueroa in a statement. “We condemn these counterproductive actions, which disrupt lives, tear apart families and wrongly punish hard-working people, while forcing all immigrants—documented or not—to live in constant fear. Instead of these harsh tactics, the government should focus on fixing our broken immigration system.”

Although the courts rejected Trump’s travel ban, Trump adviser Stephen Miller appeared on Sunday news programs stating, “The judiciary is not supreme” and that President Trump shouldn’t “change the laws and our Constitution” because of a judge’s “personal views.”

Figueroa said he’ll continue to fight against the Trump administration on behalf of his constituents.

“We must bring our immigration system into line with our economic interests and humanitarian values,” he added. “We will continue to fight for commonsense immigration reform to protect all workers, secure our borders and reunite families.”

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 29-page order rejecting arguments made by the Department of Justice, on behalf of Trump, to reinstate his travel ban. The ban, which deals with seven majority-Muslim countries, has been a lightning rod for controversy among activists and supporters alike.

“Although the government points to the fact that Congress and the Executive identified the seven countries named in the Executive Order as countries of concern in 2015 and 2016, the government has not offered any evidence or even an explanation of how the national security concerns that justified those designations, which triggered visa requirements, can be extrapolated to justify an urgent need for the Executive Order to be immediately reinstated,” read a footnote to the court’s order.

The union issued a statement praising the ruling.

“We celebrate that the Court of Appeals has put the brakes on the Trump administration’s reckless path,” read the statement. “At a time when an extremist administration with mean-spirited anti-immigrant views is testing the limits of our constitutional order, we need a strong independent judiciary more than ever.”

But the union knows Trump isn’t done yet. Reports have the administration pulling back after the court’s ruling and hinting at possibly redrafting the executive order with different wording.

“The Court’s rejection of Trump’s Muslim ban is good news for those who think that the best solution to our immigration challenges comes from defending and upholding our principles as a nation of immigrants,” continued the 32BJ statement. “Together, we must work towards commonsense comprehensive reform that keeps our country safe and our families united.”