Jul 092020
 
 July 9, 2020
UAW 4121

Updates on Directives Targeting International Students/Scholars

On Monday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced changes to F-1 and M-1 status, stating that students on these visas may not remain in the US for Fall term if their course workload proceeds fully online. The situation is rapidly developing, and many details remain unclear. Our International Solidarity Working Group is working to determine how it will impact Academic Student Employees and Postdocs working at UW, and as a union we will continue to fight this and any other attack on international students and scholars.

INFO SESSION – FRIDAY 7/10 AT 1PM PST

  • Tomorrow, Friday 7/10 at 1pm PST we will be co-hosting an info session on the ICE announcement with guest speaker Stacey Gartland from immigration law firm Van Der Hout, LLP. 
  • The session will be held via Zoom and livestreamed on Facebook. To receive the Zoom details, RSVP here.
  • If there is a general topic you would like to get more info on, please let us know via this form. If you have a question about your specific situation, you can schedule a consultation appointment with one of the attorneys.
  • This info session is co-hosted with UAW academic workers across the country, including UAW 2865 (UC Students Workers Union), UAW 5810 (UC Postdocs and Academic Researchers), UAW 2110 (Graduate Workers of Columbia and NYU Graduate Student Organizing Committee), and UAW 5118 (Harvard Grad Students Union), the Washington Science Policy Network, and more!

This latest announcement is part of an ongoing effort by the Trump administration to scapegoat non-US citizens in the midst of the pandemic, exacerbating the economic and public health crisis. This scapegoating has not been limited to international students, and has recently included proclamations restricting certain visa holders (including UW Postdocs) from working in the U.S. and attempts to restrict OPT.

Next Steps: Our union is working with electeds at the state and federal levels (Attorney General, Congress Members) to determine the best plan to fight the Trump administration.  Already members of Congress have started circulating Dear Colleague letters calling on the Head of Homeland Security to rescind the statement.  We were encouraged that UW President Cauce denounced the announcement by ICE and says UW is considering options for addressing these issues. To strengthen these efforts and center the voices and experiences of students and scholars who are most affected, we are creating a campus coalition for international, undocumented and other non-citizen populations. We also are calling on the UW administration to assemble a Task Force that is comprised of UAW and other organizations representing large numbers of international students, staff, and faculty so that affected populations can be part of the process of deciding how best to respond to these series of attacks.

Get Involved!

  • Join the International Solidarity Work Group by sending an email to intl-workgroup@uaw4121.org (please use a non-UW email address).
  • Ask your Department Chair/Admin to contact President Cauce in support of a system-wide Task Force comprised of a  majority non-citizen students, faculty and staff  charged with responding to these and other anti-immigrant attacks.
  • Reach out to your Congressional Representative and Senators, and urge them to take action against the ICE announcement.
  • Sign on to the petition calling on UW Admin to create a 1-credit in-person class for international students.

For more information and opportunities to get involved, check out this page on our website.

Coffee with Candidates

As we face a multitude of crises, from economic to public health, voting has never been more critical. Primary ballots arrive July 17th and we have several amazing pro-labor candidates on the ballot this year that have earned our endorsement! All UAW 4121 members are invited to join our Coffee with Candidates series, hosted by the Political Work Group, to hear directly from candidates about their priorities, ask questions, and educate candidates on the issues that affect academic workers. You must RSVP to receive the Zoom link. Members are welcome to join regardless of district or voting eligibility.
Not sure what district you’re in? Find out here. Interested in getting involved? Email: political@uaw4121.org

Tax Amazon: Historic Victory and Next Steps

On Monday, the Seattle City Council took the final vote to PASS an Amazon Tax by a veto-proof majority that will raise well over $200 million per year to fund affordable housing. This historic win wouldn’t have happened without the incredible community support for the Tax Amazon Ballot Initiative campaign. We collected over 30,000 signatures in just 4 weeks! The efforts of 4121 members who pitched in by phone banking, canvassing, speaking at public events, and attending the three Action Conferences, helped get this bill across the finish line. Join fellow 4121 members on Saturday for a socially-distanced victory party at Volunteer Park (masks required)!

While this is a historic victory, generating 5 times more revenue than the head tax passed and repealed in 2018, we did not win everything. Unfortunately City Council added a 20-year sunset clause and an exemption for private medical institutions before passing the tax. Yesterday’s virtual Action Conference overwhelmingly voted to approve a resolution committing to the continued fight to expand the tax on big business, to build far more affordable housing, to fight against all the budget cuts to social services, and to defund Seattle police by at least 50%. While at this time the Tax Amazon campaign is not going forward with a ballot initiative, should the business community launch a repeal campaign, we could still file the 30,000 signatures and take the campaign to the ballots.

In Solidarity, 
Douglas Avella-Castro
Leandro Casiraghi
Amanda Clouser
Monica Cortés Viharo
Meg Drouhard
Max Friedfeld
Vern Harner
Dan Hart
Amzi Jeffs
Sam Kastner
Kyle Kubler
Kristin McCowan
Emily Myers
Anzela Niraula
Jacob O’Connor
Elena Pandres
Nayon Park
Marissa Parker
David Parsons
Shua Sanchez
Paige Sechrest
Solmaz Shakerifard
Sam Sumpter
Judy Twedt
Jon Witt