NUHW now a Sanctuary Union
March 10th, 2017
After holding membership meetings throughout California and surveying our membership online, our union’s Executive Board adopted a resolution declaring NUHW a Sanctuary Union. The text of our resolution is below.
Whereas in the wake of the recent Presidential election, many people live in fear of President-elect Donald Trump’s deportation threats;
Whereas the President-elect has proposed (https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/immigration) eliminating sanctuary cities, tripling the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, and terminating DACA – a policy that has safeguarded from deportation more than 740,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. as children;
Whereas NUHW members in dozens of hospitals, clinics, and other facilities report increased levels of fear, anxiety, and insecurity among patients, healthcare workers, and family members including individuals seeking care and assistance from mental health providers;
Whereas immigration agents have historically targeted hospitals and clinics in heavily-immigrant neighborhoods;
Whereas the integrity of our healthcare system requires that patients feel absolutely confident they can seek out medical care and assistance without risk of detention and/or deportation by immigration and law enforcement authorities;
Whereas healthcare workers have pledged an ethical responsibility to protect and serve our patients;
Whereas many cities – including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, Santa Ana, New York, and Chicago — have declared themselves “Sanctuary Cities” for immigrants and in some cases established municipal ID programs to protect immigrants with no identification from being detained unnecessarily;
Whereas several colleges and universities including the California State University system have pledged to make their campuses safe for undocumented students;
Whereas state lawmakers in California have introduced legislation to create “safe zones” at public schools, hospitals and courthouses that would prohibit those institutions from cooperating with federal immigration agents or sharing anyone’s immigration status;
Now, therefore, be it resolved that:
NUHW will actively protect the rights and safety of every member of our union, our community and all patients including undocumented people and their families;
NUHW will not voluntarily cooperate with federal agents to enforce immigration laws;
NUHW will not collect personal information from our members or other individuals which might reveal their immigration status except as required by federal I-9 requirements applicable to NUHW employees;
NUHW pledges to stand up for, support and defend the most vulnerable among us; those deliberately targeted in the lead-up to the election; and those who have become victims of hate in its wake;
NUHW urges its members to help address the social, emotional, medical and mental health needs of our patients and community members and to promote diversity and inclusion;
NUHW urges its members to join efforts to resist any attempt to intimidate or inappropriately investigate undocumented individuals or to deny them their full rights to due process and a fair hearing;
NUHW declares its support for the following legislation: The California Values Act, which would prevent the use of public resources to aid federal immigration agents in deportation actions; the Due Process for All Act, which provides legal representation for noncitizens facing deportation; and the Stronger Public Defenders Act, which would create state-funded centers to train defense attorneys and public defenders on immigration law and the consequences of criminal convictions.
NUHW declares its support for Sanctuary Cities and municipal ID programs;
NUHW declares itself a “Sanctuary Union” and a member of the growing network of sanctuary institutions that will do everything within their power to ensure the safety and security of all members of our community regardless of their immigration status;
NUHW will request that our nation’s hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers declare their support for and protection of undocumented people and their families, affirmatively create a welcoming environment for them, and declare themselves to be “safe zones” so that no member of our community feels threatened when seeking medical care.