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The NCCFT’s Statement on “A Day Without Immigrants”

If President Trump’s immigration policies have done nothing else, they have highlighted once again the role immigrants play in the United States. In protest against those policies, activists have declared today “A Day Without Immigrants,” and they are asking, as the The New York Times puts it, “foreign-born people nationwide, regardless of legal status, not to go to work or go shopping in a demonstration of the importance of their labor and consumer spending to the United States’ economy.” The Times article goes on, “Activists and groups in cities across the country have picked up the call, reposting fliers found online, and in some cases organizing demonstrations to coincide with the event.”

The restaurant industry in particular seems to be paying attention. In Washington, DC, these restaurants are closing and, in New York City, Blue Ribbon Restaurants has made the decision to close more than a half-dozen of its establishments. You can read some more coverage of the day here, here, here, and here.

Knowing both how central immigrant contributions are to the economy and culture of the United States and that immigrant workers are among the most exploited in this country, we, as a labor union, could not remain silent in the face of this call to action. While we are not suggesting that any college employee should stay home from work, we want to voice our support for the impulse behind “A Day Without Immigrants.” The United States would indeed be greatly impoverished as a nation were it not for the value they bring to our shores.

11 Responses

  1. I am grateful to the NCCFT for its support of the immigrants without whom our nation could not function. Thank you, too, for providing the information about the businesses that have chosen to make a statement by closing their doors on this day.

  2. I did teach my class today, even though I am an immigrant. But, as a sign of support to all my fellow immigrants, I told my students that I chose to teach them today because their education is important, but they need to become educated about the role of immigrants in America and to know what is happening to some immigrants in America today.
    Interestingly enough I had a student say “Thank you for choosing to come and teach us”.

  3. I totally support your statement and the boycott. Sadly, some of our faculty brothers and sisters seem to have been convinced by our “president” (the one in DC) that many immigrants are “very bad people” and deserve deportation and that we who oppose that blanket policy are somehow unAmerican. The purpose of higher education is to encourage critical thinking, and that view is the very opposite of critical thinking. Now more than ever we, as faculty, as scholars, and as citizens, must continue to speak out. Our democracy is in grave danger. The heroes of this drama are the immigrants, minorities, women, and resisters. As unionists we need to support them today and every day!

  4. How about some support for Kate Steinle? How about some support for the 642,000 Texans who were victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens over the last 7 years? How about some support for the rule of law?

    We have people that wait in line for years to become citizens. There are people that leave this country because their visas run out and they want to follow our laws. How about showing some respect for them?

    Remember the days when conditions of becoming a citizen were, among other things, willingness to assimilate, passing a test that included knowing something about the Constitution, and learning English?

    If illegal aliens want to prove their value to the U.S. let their first act be following our laws, not breaking them. And by the way, America survived the attacks of 9/11. If all the illegals left America tomorrow we’d survive that too.

    All Trump wanted to do was make sure we knew who was coming into the US and we are letting in people that love America note hate it. A 90-day travel ban to bolster our vetting process doesn’t create a hardship on any American.

    Can we please stop pretending that foreign nationals have a Constitutional right to come to America? Can we also stop pretending that people who come here illegally have a Constitutional right to stay?

    1. Even a cursory reading of US history tells us that there have been many periods in which these sentiments about “illegal” immigrants have been strong. And every single time, the extremists in our society have encouraged this feeling just to help their own ambitions. It’s far too easy to echo the current (and illegitimate) notion that “immigrants have no given right to come here” but in fact the universal declaration of human rights protects the free passage of all peoples from anywhere in the world to any where else for the protection of their human rights. Let’s not repeat the lies of the 1840/1850s, the 1900s/1920s, or WWII when the lives of millions were lost because America First sentiment ruled Congress and the State Dept.

    2. Having spent part of my weekend assisting an immigration lawyer at an information session with a group of Hispanic workers I feel I must comment.
      Not every Italian, German or Irish immigrant entered the US legally during the immigration wave from 1880 to 1920. Not every legal or illegal immigrant at that time was a law-abiding person. Yet the vast majority of immigrants became part of the fabric of our society, enriching it and making it what it is today.
      So why do some people feel that all undocumented individuals must be rounded up and deported? Who will fill the void that they leave behind?
      After careful and thorough vetting wouldnt it be smarter to give undocumented aliens the opportunity to apply for citizenship without fear of deportation?
      It seems to me that we should certainly identify and deport the dangerous individuals and welcome those who are good, law-abiding and hard-working.

  5. Yesterday afternoon I and 80 others (many of them union brothers and sisters ) stood in the street in Setauket (Suffolk County) protesting our “non-president Trump’s autocratic and anti constitutional acts. Across the road 15 diehards held signs saying DEPORT ALL IMMIGRANTS and BUILD THE WALL. Their profound ignorance of law and history was atrocious and a bad model for all students present. The very word ILLEGAL should be avoided by those who do not understand our political and juridical system.

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