June 27, 2013
UAW Supports Immigration Reform
By Kim Ashby, Local 862
May 16, 2013 - UAW delegates of the Civil and Human Right Committee, Skilled Trades and Women’s Committee attending the Region 8 Standing Committee Conference in St. Pete, FL boarded a bus Thursday afternoon and traveled to Bradenton, FL in a demonstration backing immigration reform.
UAW joined with members of Comprehensive Immigration Reform NOW, the local faith community and rallied on the lawn in front of the Bradenton Judicial Center in a show of support for immigration reform. Local pastor Jose Cadena of East Bradenton acted as moderator for the event.
UAW member Shelia Brown of St. Pete, FL, stated, “The UAW has always stood for economic and social justice in our country.” Brown went on to say that the “immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed and fixed now.” Brown called on U.S. Representative Vern Buchannan “to do the right thing” by voting yes for immigration reform.
UAW member James Wolfe of Louisville, KY stated, “We want immigration reform, and we want it now.” Wolfe mentioned that America is a melting pot and that we are struggling with the same issues of immigration reform as the country did thirty years ago. According to Wolfe immigrants that come to America are searching for the American Dream and “today is the day for change to immigration reform.”
Maria Quezada shared the story of an undocumented immigrant who was brought here at 2 years of age from Brazil. He grew up thinking that he was an American. His little sister was born here in America. His parents worked hard every day to support them. As a result of a broken tail light, his father was thrown in jail and then deported back to Brazil. His father died alone on an operating table in Brazil as a result of heart problems. Overcome with emotion Quezada said that, “No one should have to die alone and separated from their family.”
Immigration reform needs to happen now. Families are being ripped apart because the immigration laws are archaic and disjointed. Ask your representatives to vote yes for immigration reform and vote now. Don’t delay.