By Brad Swanson:
Organized labor and allies rallied Saturday morning against Trump Administration plans to deport an estimated 20,000 protected status immigrants from northern Virginia.
“This is a cruel and vicious attack on families,” said Virginia Diamond, president of the Northern Virginia AFL-CIO. Many of these immigrants have been in the USA for a generation and have sunk deep roots into their communities, she pointed out.
Nationwide, the federal government plans to withdraw Temporary Protected Status (TPS) covering 400,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti and Honduras in 2019 and 2020.
TPS was originally granted because of political turmoil and elevated violence levels in home countries but supporters say that after many years of living in America, TPS holders have become American in all but name – homeowners, job holders, valuable members of their communities. Moreover, 300,000 children, all US citizens, have been born to these families and raised in this country. Their fate if their parents are forced to leave is in question.
After hearing speeches outside the Northern Virginia Labor Federation office in Annandale on Saturday morning, rally participants dispersed to canvass for Jennifer Wexton, a Democratic state senator who is in a tight race against incumbent Barbara Comstock as representative for the 10th Congressional district – the second biggest region for protected status immigrants, after Long Island, New York.
“Comstock has been silent on the [TPS] program,” commented Jaime Contreras, vice-president of Service Employees International Union 32BJ. “Wexton has been a supporter of labor in Richmond.”
More in The Blue View