With many Americans finding a voice of resistance during President Donald Trump’s first year as president, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that unions such as 32BJ SEIU continue to speak out.
This week, 32BJ SEIU President Hector Figueroa weighed in on both the American Health Care Act and the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Muslim travel ban.
Monday, the Congressional Budget Office released its score for the Senate’s version of the AHCA and concluded that it would leave 22 million more people uninsured. With Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushing for a vote this week, Figueroa wanted to point out what the Republicans would produce with a repeal and replacement of so-called Obamacare.
“With this dreadful, shameful, punitive and immoral health care bill, Senate Republicans are—once again—teaming up with an administration of the 1 percent and for the 1 percent with a clear goal in mind: to take away health care from millions of people, cut taxes to the rich and push an agenda designed to favor the powerful and wealthy over the needs of working families,” said Figueroa.
Also on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed certain parts of Trump’s travel ban to take effect and announced that they’ll hear oral arguments on the case in October. The court said it is allowing the ban to go into effect for foreign nationals who don’t have a “bona fide relationship with any person or entity in the United States.” According to the court, formal relationships include employees who’ve accepted jobs with American companies or are attending American universities.
Figueroa had a lot to say on this week’s ruling.
“Allowing Trump’s Muslim ban to go into effect is not only wrong; it’s an insult to our values as a country of immigrants,” said Figueroa in a statement. “As we have already witnessed at airports across the country, this ban will turn into a nightmare. Families will be divided; workers won’t be able to return to work; businesses will lose loyal employees and valuable customers. Students won’t be going back to school; whole communities will be disrupted and traumatized. This ban won’t make us safer but instead tarnish our nation’s reputation as a beacon of freedom. This un-American ban should be permanently suspended and banished into distant memory.”
Figueroa also said that his union of “163,000 strong” that includes immigrants from all over the world and people of Muslim faith will use their power to the best of their ability to fight the ban.
“We will continue to fight for a better future for our families, prevent deportations and protect immigrants, Muslims and refugees,” stated Figueroa. “Now, more than ever, we must unite across racial, economic and other lines to fight back against hatred, racism and bigotry.”