Sara Lonardo,

Issued August 12, 2019

SEIU’s Saenz: Trump administration continuing to foment racial, ethnic division with new immigration rule

WASHINGTON—SEIU Executive Vice President Rocio Sáenz issued the following statement on the Trump administration’s announcement of a new public charge rule to limit legal immigration. The rule will be officially published Wednesday:

“The rule announced today is part of an increasingly long line of actions the Trump administration has taken to pit working people against each other. Our government should be putting families first, helping children develop into healthy adults and making it possible for every single person in this country to obtain healthcare, education and healthy food.

“Instead, this rule would force families to choose between their children’s well-being and a secure future in America. No one should be penalized for legally safeguarding their family’s healthcare, nutrition, housing. Because too many jobs pay poverty wages, many working people have to rely on anti-hunger, anti-poverty or affordable housing programs despite working two or three jobs. Today the federal government told those people: we don’t want you. Don’t try and live the American dream. 

“In addition to being cruel and effectively depriving families of help they need and are eligible to receive, the new policy is short sighted. America needs exactly the people who this plan will drive away: hard-working immigrants who will help build a stronger country. Not more billionaires. 

“Coming on the heels of last week’s ICE raids in Mississippi and the tragic shooting in El Paso, it is clear that the Trump administration has no interest in healing our nation’s divides. This administration is intent on leading a government-wide assault on all working families. The Trump administration wants to prevent working people and people of color from living and working permanently in the U.S. SEIU members will not stand for this. We are going to continue using the strength that comes from standing together in a union to fight for policies that put all working people, regardless of where they were born or the color of their skin, first.”

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) unites 2 million diverse members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. SEIU members working in the healthcare industry, in the public sector and in property services believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages and benefits and to create better communities while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy.