LSSA Statement on ICE

July 13, 2018

The Legal Services Staff Association, a unit of the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, UAW 2320, is a wall-to-wall union of non-profit workers who provide free legal services to low-income New Yorkers. We see first-hand every day how President Trump’s attacks on immigrants are harming and terrorizing our immigrant clients and colleagues.

The latest actions by the President are reprehensible, racist, and xenophobic. We condemn his actions and the rhetoric surrounding his policy of forcibly separating immigrant families at the border who seek asylum in the United States. We call on members of Congress to abolish ICE as the terrorist organization it has become.

The recent Supreme Court decision upholding the President’s Muslim ban is a stark reminder that we cannot rely on the courts to protect the oppressed. It is only through direct action and solidarity by and among immigrants, workers, people of color, the LGBTQ community, and other marginalized groups that we can effect meaningful change

LSSA 2320 also recognizes that the policies employed by the Trump administration targeting poor people of color are not unique. Our members recognize that other policies on the federal, state, and local level actively discriminate against poor persons of color, and that our clients face these racist policies every day. The New York City Administration for Children’s Services similarly separates parents and children every day, and we see no difference in the policies of the Trump administration and the policies of ACS under Mayor DeBlasio. Likewise, NYC’s continuing reliance of the discredited theory of broken windows policing and use of cash bail disproportionately targets people of color and separates them from their families.

Some brothers and sisters in the labor movement have taken bold steps to resist ICE. Our sister union ALAA has repeatedly walked off the job to protest ICE’s warrantless arrests in New York State criminal court. Some flight attendants have refused to work flights transporting children away from their parents. LSSA stand in solidarity with all workers refusing to assist ICE in its cruel and inhumane work. LSSA also stands in solidarity with those defense organizations taking on NYC’s policies that disproportionately target people of color.