For Immediate Release: August 15, 2012
Contact:Sylvia Carranza, 213-381-5611 x128, scarranza@launionaflcio•org (scarranza@launionaflcio•org)
or Chloe Osmer, 323-203-5197, cosmer@aflcio•org (cosmer@aflcio•org)
LA County Federation of Labor To Support DREAM Students and
Young Workers Applying for Deferred Action
Statement by Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer,
LA County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
Today, DREAM students and young workers gathered at the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services office in Los Angeles to request applications for President Obama’s new policy of Deferred Action. Deferred Action will allow roughly 1 million undocumented youth to apply for lawful status in the U.S. and for a 2-year, renewable work permit.
DREAM students won this victory through organizing and their success has been inspiring for all who fight for social justice. Among the young people seeking applications today are workers seeking to improve their working conditions in L.A.
Karla Campos has been a leader in efforts by workers to improve dangerous safety conditions and poverty wages at the recycling company where she works. Karla and her co-workers asked the Teamsters to help them organize a union. Karla is a twenty five year-old single mother of two children. Karla came to the U.S. at age of nine and attended elementary school through high school here, though she was forced to drop out of school before she could graduate. Karla is very happy about the opportunity to get legal status, and she hopes to be a role model for her children by returning to school.
Fermin Hernandez is working to organize a union with his coworkers to address the rampant wage theft and lack of protection from chemical exposure that they are suffering at Melrose Car Wash. Fermin and his co-workers are organizing with the CLEAN Carwash Campaign and hope to be members of the United Steelworkers union. Fermin arrived in the United States at the age of fifteen in 2005 from Oaxaca, Mexico, where he was only able to complete the 6th grade because of his family’s financial hardship. Fermin is excited about the opportunity to gain legal status in the country where he lives, works and pays taxes, and he has registered for school with plans to complete his GED.
Unions have always stood for creating opportunities for people to better themselves. On August 1st, I proposed, and the national AFL-CIO Executive Committee approved, a motion to support the DREAMers’ efforts to help welcome these young people into our country and into the labor movement. The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor will be supporting upcoming efforts by the DREAM students and others to provide information and assistance on Deferred Action.
These hard working young people are some of America’s best and brightest; our nation and the labor movement will be stronger for welcoming them.
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