Aparna Kumar,

Issued June 04, 2024

SEIU’s Sáenz: Now is not the time to turn our backs on immigrants seeking refuge

WASHINGTON - Rocio Sáenz, Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), issued the following statement today in response to the Biden Administration’s newly announced policy on asylum:

“Immigrants build our nation and are vital contributors to our economy and our communities as essential workers, taxpayers and family members, neighbors and caretakers. Shutting the border on those seeking refuge is not only wrong, but would actually make conditions at the border worse. Rather than give in to the political hysteria created by MAGA extremists, including Republicans in Congress who refused to support bipartisan solutions, we should increase resources at the border to process their cases more efficiently and humanely. Just as important, we must provide border communities and the cities and states taking in these new arrivals with the resources to properly integrate them.

Immigrants are part of the solution, not the problem. Far from bringing harm, the surge in immigration in recent years has played a major role, along with Biden’s policies, in our economic recovery from the pandemic, which leads the world.

To maximize the benefits that immigrants provide, we need to make sure more of them have work permits and an eventual path to citizenship. We urge the administration to tackle this urgent priority as soon as possible by taking executive action now.”