WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Teamsters joined with families from across the country at a Capitol Hill rally today calling on Congress to move forward on legislation unveiled earlier this year that would help fix the nation's broken immigration system by halting the separation of U.S. families that have both legal and undocumented members.
The union strongly backs the American Families United Act in part due to 20-year member Jason Rochester, a Georgia UPS worker. Rochester and his wife Cecilia have been separated since 2017 when the family – relying on faulty legal advice – decided she should self-deport to her native Mexico rather than live in fear of being arrested by U.S. immigration officials.
Although the family thought she would be able to come back to this country in six months, she has been barred from returning to her adopted homeland. Not even when their young son Ashton underwent treatment for kidney cancer was she granted a reprieve.
"Congress has been sitting on its hands instead of acting to reunite American families," Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said. "Everyone knows the nation's immigration system is broken. Keeping loved ones apart doesn't solve anything and only brings heartbreak. It is time to act now."
In a letter sent to leaders of the House Judiciary's Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship earlier this year, Jason Rochester noted more than 1 million U.S. families have mixed citizenship status like his. He said he won't give up the fight until changes are made. "I don't believe that what has happened to my family is what Congress or the American people intend or want from our nation's immigration system," he wrote. "The system is broken and it's hurting families like mine."
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
Ted Gotsch, (703) 899-0869
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SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters