Unionists, Latinos, undocumented workers and their allies stepped up their crusade for workplace rights for the undocumented, with a May 18 press conference in DC highlighting what should have been a chance for millions to file for legal status. Instead, thanks to a federal judge’s injunction in Texas, which the Obama administration is appealing, the first day of filing, May 19, was marked by marches and demonstrations nationwide for legalization. The labor movement pledged to step up efforts to teach and coach the estimated seven million undocumented workers on how to gather the proper documents and prepare to seek the right to stay in the U.S. “We are going to ensure workers are ready to apply for it” – legal status – “and to fight for it,” said United Food and Commercial Workers Executive Vice President Esther Lopez. “What’s been deferred is our dream” of becoming citizens and contributing to the U.S., said worker Carlos Castillo. “They’ve been halted because of politics.”
- Mark Gruenberg, PAI
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