The following motion was adopted by AFSCME DC 37 Local 768 (NYC Health Care Employees) on February 6. This news can also be found on the website of Class Struggle Education Workers.
WHEREAS, the crisis of the undocumented in the United States has deep roots in a system of oppression and colonialism in which the U.S. played a major role; and
WHEREAS, some Local 768 members have been given instructions to decrease the population of undocumented immigrants in their facilities by 40%; and
WHEREAS, Local 768 members, like health care providers and other workers, have grave concerns over threats to this desperately needed safety net coverage; and
WHEREAS, Local 768 believes we have a basic ethical obligation to defend undocumented immigrants in need of health care from round-ups, jail and deportation by ICE; and
WHEREAS, any attempt to have Local 768 members identify patients for such discriminatory treatment would violate not only our professional obligations but NYC law and NYC Health + Hospitals’ stated policy; and
WHEREAS, this situation is made even more urgent by Trump’s attacks on “sanctuary cities” and NYC regulations limiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities; and
WHEREAS, we join with NYC-area building-service, education, Teamster, construction trades and other unionists in standing up for the rights of us all in opposition to attacks on our Muslim and immigrant sisters and brothers; and
WHEREAS, solidarity is a matter of life or death for labor, which is now under attack by anti-union “right to work” legislation and court cases (Friedrichs); therefore be it
RESOLVED, that Local 768 formally and publicly states the following:
1) We will continue to serve all those in need and oppose any attempt to use immigration status against them, or to collect such information.
2) We will not go along with demands to cut care to undocumented patients, which would violate our most basic ethical responsibilities.
3) We also reject any attempt to undermine the federally mandated right to treatment of all those seeking emergency care.
4) Local 768 will establish a committee to defend the rights of immigrant patients, families and staff.
5) We advocate that the unions of the NYC metropolitan area come together in a massive protest showing the power of labor to stand up against any and all anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and other racist attacks in line with the labor motto, “AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL.”