For immediate release
July 10, 2015
CHICAGO, IL – This Monday, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez, a national leader on immigration issues, will meet in Chicago with Mundelein-based meatpacking workers facing a workplace immigration audit.
The Congressman will be returning from New Orleans, where on July 10, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments on the Republican-led lawsuit blocking President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive immigration actions. DAPA and DACA would give millions of immigrants protection against deportation and authorization to work in the United States. While the policy is on hold, immigrants who could qualify for deferred action are still being targeted for detention and deportation through outdated federal enforcement programs.
In Chicago, over one hundred meatpacking plant employees of the Ruprecht Company who are members of UNITE HERE recently walked off the job in response to an immigration audit by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Congressman Gutierrez and UNITE HERE are requesting that Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) suspend the audit while the National Labor Relations Board is investigating unfair labor practice charges filed by the union and remedies any violation.
“I want to talk to the workers because it seems like they are getting a raw deal,” said Rep. Gutierrez. “On the one hand, the country is preparing to get more of our immigrant families on-the-books and working legally, while on the other hand, Homeland Security is driving them from their jobs. I want to hear what is going on from the workers’ perspective to see if there can be a just resolution.”
“The President has given assurances that law-abiding immigrants are not deportation priorities under current US immigration policy, yet these workers are still vulnerable to threats of workplace inspections under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),” said Maria Elena Durazo, Vice President for Immigration, Diversity and Civil Rights at UNITE HERE.
Who: Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez, Ruprecht Company workers, Local 1 President Karen Kent, Father Clete Kiley, UNITE HERE Director for Immigration and a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Rev. Larry Dowling, pastor of St. Agatha Church, and chair of ARISE Chicago
Where: St. Peter’s Church, 110 W. Madison Street. Chicago, IL 60602
When: Monday July 13th
3:30 PM: Ruprecht Company workers in conversation with Congressman Luis Gutierrez (press allowed)
4:00 PM: Press Conference with Congressman, workers, faith leaders
Religious service with faith leaders to follow press conference (cameras allowed at the service, no reporters)