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Multiple Court Rulings Bring Relief to Immigrant Workers, Families

Three separate court rulings last week blocked federal efforts to step up immigrant detentions and deportations. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)
Three separate court rulings last week blocked federal efforts to step up immigrant detentions and deportations. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)
October 2, 2019

NEW YORK – Unionized workers in New York are praising three recent court rulings that uphold the rights of immigrants.

In three separate rulings last Friday, federal judges blocked the Trump administration's attempt to detain immigrant children indefinitely and issued a preliminary injunction against the "fast-track" deportation of immigrants anywhere in the country without due process. Another case permanently enjoined an ICE hub in California from requesting that local law enforcement detain immigrants based on a flawed database.

Those rulings bring some security to members of Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ and their families.

Shirley Aldebol, the union's vice president, said the majority of its members are immigrants with Temporary Protected Status or green cards, or are naturalized citizens.

"They have been part of the fabric of this country for many years," she said, "and part of the culture of our union is that of a union of immigrant workers."

Claiming they bring crime and drain resources, the administration has stepped up efforts to deport undocumented people and prevent new immigrants from settling in this country. However, immigrants who have lived in the United States for years, including veterans and many with U.S. citizen families, are being deported.

To help fight those deportations, Aldebol said, most 32BJ members have a legal services plan.

"They are able to avail themselves of legal counsel to help them get citizenship, to bring their family members or renew their TPS, or any legal assistance that they need," she said, adding that the union recognizes that courts can only do so much to protect immigrants.

Aldebol said 32BJ will keep working to ensure that the rights of its membership and of all workers are recognized and protected.

"We're going to continue to fight in the streets. We're going to continue to fight in the courts," she added. "We're going to continue to work with our allies for just reform of our immigration system."

More information about the court decisions is online at

Disclosure: 32BJ SEIU contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Immigrant Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY