A Labor Day Message of Solidarity with Immigrant Workers and USCIS Public Servants

The labor rights movement has served as an enduring reminder of the inextricable link between immigrants and citizens in the United States. For decades, the fight for safe working conditions and fair wages have revealed our common needs and dreams — stability, the ability to provide for ourselves and our loved ones, good health, rest.

Preying upon fears of scarcity and those who appear foreign, anti-immigrant hate groups and their followers, including those currently in positions of power in the U.S. government, are trying to pit immigrant and citizen workers against each other. The basis for these fears are antithetical to our Christian teachings that teach us of God’s infinite abundance and command us to love our neighbors. In order to combat this hateful narrative against immigrants, we must hold the agency responsible for processing immigration and naturalization applications accountable — USCIS.

This Labor Day comes at a time of profound crisis in our country, as the pandemic indiscriminately costs lives and livelihoods. It also comes as USCIS leadership has manufactured a financial crisis in furtherance of the administration’s agenda built on fear. In order to prevent work permits and other vital identity documents from getting to immigrant customers, the administration is threatening to lay off 13,000 public servants — an unconscionable and deliberate policy choice, especially during this vulnerable time.

CLINIC’s Religious Immigration Services staff have seen, firsthand, how USCIS’ mismanagement and inefficient processes have burdened religious workers. Many of these workers immigrate to the United States to fulfill their faith’s mission, providing spiritual guidance, leadership and aid to parishioners and the communities in which they live. They also serve in schools and hospitals across the country. Yet, many of the administration’s policy decisions — including the delays listed above as well as requests for needless evidence, adding hundreds of pages to filings, and denying cases for small omissions or errors — threaten current and future immigrant religious workers and in turn, the American communities they serve.

While much about these times is unprecedented, our call to action is rooted in history. It starts with recognizing that we belong to each other and we must and can only move forward together. I think of Pope Francis’ recent words: “We are all frail, all equal, all precious.”

Today, join me in sending a message of solidarity with immigrant workers and USCIS public servants and consider learning more about and supporting the following organizations with your financial gift:

Use your voice to stand in solidarity with immigrant workers and public servants this Labor Day. Click here to tweet.

Sample tweet text: On this #LaborDay, I stand in solidarity with all the immigrant workers who have been impacted by @USCIS processing delays and the public servants who remain at risk of furlough during #COVID19. I call on [insert Twitter handle for your Member(s) of Congress] to commit to ongoing oversight!