CWA Statement on the President's Immigration Accountability Executive Action

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Communications Workers of America commends President Obama for providing long overdue relief to millions of undocumented workers who are facing deportation and the breakup of their families.

These reforms, especially of the enforcement of our immigration law, are a good start to fixing our broken immigration system.

The President’s action means that 4.9 million workers who have been working and living in fear will have the opportunity, through expanded work authorizations, to come out of the shadows. This action will curb the threat and reality of abuse, wage theft and manipulation by unscrupulous employers, at least for these nearly 5 million people. The three year work authorizations, though not permanent, will be a major change for workers who have suffered in silence for years. 

Unfortunately, immigrant workers who don’t qualify for the work authorization will remain vulnerable to exploitation. That’s why it’s clear that Congress must act.

In June 2013, the Senate, by a bi-partisan vote, moved forward on immigration reform. Because House Speaker Boehner has refused to let the House vote, the President was right to act.

CWA is concerned by the President's concession to corporate demands for even greater access to temporary visas that will allow the continued suppression of wages in the tech sector. Through the new rulemaking process that was added as a part of this executive action, CWA will press for fair treatment and protections for both U.S. and foreign-born tech workers. 

CWA will continue to fight with our partners for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for millions of immigrant workers. It’s time that all people have the opportunity to live and work, not in the shadows and not as an exploited underclass, but in the full light of our democracy.