December 19, 2016

What Do Retirees Have to do with Immigration?

The Texas Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund generally sticks to retiree issues such as pensions, Social Security, and health care. So why would our Houston activists eagerly join Mayor Sylvester Turner in a news conference declaring solidarity with immigrants?

One could argue that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and immigrants are the declared enemies of the upcoming U.S. President. But Texas retirees don’t usually think in terms of being somebody’s enemy.

We think in terms of standing together, and if some seniors are going to be unfairly deported, then the rest of us must stand by them. Solidarity is the only way we can win! The below comes from Houston:

“Dear Gulf Coast AFL-CIO affiliates,

‘On Monday City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner sent a powerful message to Houston in the era of Trump. He said that immigrants, refugees, and other communities at risk of being targeted are welcome here and will be protected in Houston. He also affirmed his support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza and HPD Chief Art Acevedo echoed the Mayor’s position.

Retirees join Houston progressives on immigration issue
Retirees join Houston progressives on immigration issue

‘With Houston standing up, it will be easier for other cities across Texas to step forward, too.

‘More than 35 union members representing all parts of our labor federation, along with allies like TOP and United We Dream, stood with the Mayor during the press conference. Thanks to AFA-CWA Local 64, AFSCME Local 1550, Electrical Workers Local 716, HOPE AFSCME Local 123, Houston Federation of Teachers Local 2415, Insulators Local 22, Machinists Lodges 811 & 2198, Plumbers Local 68, Sheet Metal Workers Local 54, Teamsters Local 988, Texas SEIU, TSEU-CWA Local 6186, and Texas Alliance for Retired Americans for turning out on such short notice. Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick also joined us. Our presence was noticed.

‘The next step will be for the Welcoming Houston policy initiative to make recommendations to the Mayor in January for substantive policies that can make Houston an even more welcoming city for immigrants.

‘Watch the KHOU report:….

‘Hany Khalil

‘Executive Director

‘Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO

‘2506 Sutherland St. Houston, TX 77023

‘Office: 713.923.9473


‘opeiu #l29 afl-cio”

–Gene Lantz, President

Texas Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund

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