Issued April 01, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC. - Service Employees International Union (SEIU) International President Mary Kay Henry released the following statement today following the Biden administration’s announcement that it will end Title 42:
“Our country is stronger when we welcome people from all walks of life, especially those who are fleeing violence, civil strife, environmental disaster, and so much more. Shutting our borders to asylum seekers sends the wrong message to the world. It also weakens us because, as history teaches, immigrants and people fleeing persecution have made us stronger and more prosperous. That’s why working people of all backgrounds from across the country raised their demand, organized, and never quit to end unjust Title 42 expulsions. The Biden administration responded to our demands and now, SEIU’s 2 million service and care workers join fellow immigrant communities in applauding Title 42’s upcoming termination.
This Trump-era policy was created under the guise that it would protect our public health. Our members and leaders saw past this lie and fought for the families and refugees whose lives were hanging in the balance after journeying to the U.S. They spoke about the importance of welcoming immigrants and ending this harmful policy. People who migrate and seek refuge are our care workers, doctors, teachers, office and hospital cleaners, first responders, colleagues, neighbors, and so much more. We trust that the Biden administration will implement a fair and humane asylum process that will live up to our highest ideals and treat newcomers with respect and dignity. But our work does not end there or with Title 42.
People who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS), DACA recipients, and other undocumented immigrants have called this country home for decades despite living in fear that they may some day be forced to leave. Millions have also risked their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we won’t stop fighting until they’re respected, protected, and paid living wages that can support a family. It’s time for Congress to create a pathway to citizenship, invest in home care jobs that are largely driven by Black, Latinx, API, indigenous and immigrant women, while also creating good, union jobs that will uplift entire communities. Workers are demanding Congress to build on the momentum of today’s announcement and continue stepping up for immigrant communities. Lives, livelihoods, and the health of our communities depend on it.”