As you know, thousands of international students like me are proud members and elected leaders of UAW Local 4121. Our union has a history of speaking up against discrimination in all its forms.
Today we sent letters to Washington Senators Murray and Cantwell, urging them to oppose a bill (HR 158) that would restrict the Visa Waiver System for travelers to and from the U.S. based on their national ancestry.
The bill was hastily passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week, and now is scheduled for a vote this Wednesday in the U.S. Senate (12/16). A group of Congress members – including Washington Rep. Jim McDermott, who voted against the original bill – have signed on to an open letter opposing these provisions of the bill and urging their colleagues in the Senate to vote them down. Read more about it here.
You can help by taking a moment to contact Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and asking them to oppose HR 158, as well as any spending bills that include similar restrictions. You can also sign on to a petition to the White House.
While this bill directly affects international students like me, it also contributes to an increasingly hostile environment of discrimination, hatred and fear, where race, nationality, or belief is being used to justify exclusion and hatred. Our international solidarity work group will continue to work on this and related issues, and we welcome you to join us. Thank you for taking action today to help stop this bill from passing.
Arshiya Hoseyni Chime, Vice President, UAW Local 4121
Oh behalf of UAW 4121 Executive Board and Bargaining Committee Members