Union is Supporting Efforts of Georgia Teamster Trying to Bring His Wife Home
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(WASHINGTON) – The Teamsters are urging Congress to take up soon-to-be introduced legislation being discussed in a House subcommittee hearing today 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 is coming out in favor of the American Families United Act in part to support 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 that she would be 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.
“Jason and Cecelia sought to go through the proper immigration channels years ago to make things right,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said. “But given the pathetic state of the nation’s immigration laws, they were left with no good alternatives. Tearing families apart in un-American. But Capitol Hill lawmakers can change it.”
In a letter sent to leaders of the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, 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.