Labor and Community Fight Deportation of Asylum Seekers

(Photograph courtesy of U.S. Border Patrol.)

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Workers Independent News is heard Monday through Friday at 8:45 and 11:45 a.m. and 5:45 p.m.

A coalition of Los Angeles labor and community groups have come together to fight Department of Homeland Security plans to deport thousands of Central American immigrants.

According to U.S. Border Patrol statistics, some 120,000 Central American migrants were apprehended for crossing into the U.S. without permission since January, 2014. Many unaccompanied children were released to family members after media reports revealed images of dozens of children incarcerated in small concrete rooms.

Now, the Obama Administration wants to send them back home as a way of sending a message to others.

Julissa Arceo, with Stop Separating Families, said the newcomers are not immigrants but refugees that should be protected by international law.

“Under our country’s laws there is a process for them to seek asylum. That process is not being followed. We are asking three year-old children to represent themselves in front of an immigration judge,” Arceo said. “So once their cases area denied, we say, ‘You have to leave the country.’ I think it’s easy to understand why these people aren’t flocking back to their countries. El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras have some of the highest murder rates in the world.”

Many women and children who came to the U.S. since 2014 said they were running from violent street gangs, especially in El Salvador and Honduras.

Court records show that asylum seekers have a very low chance of success without lawyers.

Baltimore Area Teamsters U.S. Foods Strike Picket Lines Expand

Teamsters on strike against U.S. Foods in Severn, Md., have extended their picket lines to U.S Foods distribution centers around the country. Other Teamsters at those facilities have been honoring the extended picket lines.

Two private equity firms bought U.S. Foods nine years ago. In January, nearly $670 million in cash was taken out of the company to distribute to the two new owners—KKR and CD&R.

The Teamsters say since the new owners took over U.S. Foods has engaged in a systematic campaign of harassment and intimidation against its workers.

AFGE Fights DoD Commissaries Privatization, Pay Cuts

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE ) is applauding U.S. Senate action striking down a privatization of Department of Defense commissaries.

But the union is still working to remove a provision in both the House and Senate that would cut pay for commissaries workers by 10 to 30 percent. The provision would downgrade pay and benefits of commissary workers by converting them to non-appropriated funding status.