Commonsense Immigration Reforms Must Value Family Reunification

For Immediate Release

Commonsense Immigration Reforms Must Value Family Reunification

WASHINGTON - The congressional debate over how families are separated under current immigration law, and how the law should be fixed to lessen the impact on families was held today in a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee. SEIU’s International Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina issued the following statement:

“My own family was separated when my father first came to the U.S. to work in the agricultural fields of California. He contributed to the economy and to the welfare of our family, but our family lost many years of togetherness. It took years to be reunited as a family.

“It is worth noting the title of today’s hearing is ‘The Separation of Nuclear Families under U.S. Immigration Law.’ Nuclear families are important, but family values don't stop when our children grow to adulthood. Adults have obligations to their parents, and sometimes a sister or brother is the only one able to help care for a sick child or other family member.

“As Congress debates changes to immigration law, it must strive for commonsense reforms. It must value families. It must remember that families strongly influence individual and national welfare. Without family reunification, the immigration system will continue to invite unauthorized immigration as families seek to live together.

“Congress also must remember that the family is the most basic learning institution that teaches children values and provides the tools for success in school, society and work. Families that work together, whether inside the home or at a family owned business, contribute to the economy.

“As we seek a humane immigration policy, SEIU urges members of Congress to remember the strength of families and of how they contribute to our communities and to our economy every day.”

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With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers—not just corporations and CEOs—benefit from today's global economy.

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