November 21, 2014
By Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – Building on his prior order that let the Dreamers, undocumented youths who are now in college or the military, stay in the U.S., President Obama plans an executive order to allow undocumented adults to stay in the country. SEIU President Mary Kay Henry has taken the lead in supporting the President's decision.
In a letter to President Obama and the Congress, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry stated that "This is not about politics, it's about people. This is about families who have long made America their home. We encourage President Obama to act now on immigration relief for millions because it's the right thing to do. It's time for Congress to follow suit and stop playing games with the lives of millions of families mothers and fathers, children, hard-working people and students."
The AFL-CIO has also urged the President to act and has launched an online petition to push him to do so. Many labor leaders believe that immigration reform would bring the undocumented workers out of the shadows and under U.S. labor law. This would lessen their exploitation.
Congressional Republicans have warned the President that an executive order to allow adult illegal immigrants to stay in the country would poison relations on every issue for the next two years. However, GOP House leaders have refused to negotiate a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill. According to SEIU President Henry, immigration reform legislation could have been passed during this last session if House Speaker John Boehner did not let politics stand in the way. "The vast majority of Americans – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – want our broken system fixed. Thus far, Congress has refused to act, ignoring the will of the people and needless devastation wrought on families and communities," said Henry.
"It is time to end these political games around immigration reform. The plight of immigrant families is a moral crisis that you all must address," said SEIU President Henry in her letter to Congress and the President.