International Solidarity Working Group Actions

Read more about the past and current activities of the International Solidarity workgroup below. Send an email to to get involved!

  • Taking on ICE & Winning: Defeating the directive to deport workers on M1 and F1 visas during remote instruction (July 2020):
  • Defending the Rights of Visa Holders and Non-Citizens to Share in State and Federal Recovery Efforts (June 2020)
    • We have reached out to Governor Jay Inslee in support of the creation of a Washington Workers Fund for non-citizen populations who are facing financial hardship and are prevented from receiving state or federal assistance due to their visa or immigration status. We have also reached out to Seattle City Council urging them to pass a tax on big business to support working people, including direct aid to non-citizens whose immigration status prevents them from being eligible for federal or state support
  • Resisting Trump’s potential limitations on non-immigrant visas (June 2020):
    • Actions being contemplated by the Trump Admin have the potential to jeopardize the careers of of Academic Student Employees working on F1 visas, and Postdocs working on F1-OPT extensions or H1B visas. As a Local Union, we sent a letter strongly opposing these measures to the U.S. Departments of State, Homeland Security, and Labor, as well as to our Washington State Congressional delegation. Our Working Group has additionally urged UW President Ana Mari Cauce to join these critical efforts by sending similar letters as a University administration. All ASEs and Postdocs are encouraged to send a message to Washington state Senators using this short form.
  • Resisting Trump’s Travel Ban Executive Orders (January 2017):
    • Upon issuance of the Executive Orders banning travel for immigrants from 7 (now 6) named countries, UAW members and the International Solidarity Work Group have taken swift action and acted as part of a broad coalition who was successful at halting Trump’s administration.  Go to our Taking Action for Immigration and Undocumented Rights page for a listing of actions taken.
  • Establishing UW as a Sanctuary Campus (December 2016):In coalition with other campus unions, UAW Local 4121 helped lead the push for the University of Washington to become a “sanctuary” campus.  This means not only that theUniversity would refuse to provide information about undocumented and immigrant students and workers, but also that it would take active steps to provide support, resources, advocacy and accommodations to anyone potentially affected by threats from the Trump administration.  See our letter here and press coverage here.
  • Providing Resources and Information by Hosting Immigration Forums (December 2016, Ongoing):
    • In December 2016, we held our Immigration Information & Strategy Forums. Theresa Aliwarga, member of the UAW 4121 executive board and international solidarity working group, spoke about possible changes under a Trump administration that could affect international students and scholars. She was joined by speakers from OneAmericaUW Leadership Without Borders and an immigration attorney who provided Know Your Rights information.
  • Eliminating the Discriminatory International Student Fee (VICTORY April 2017):
    • The UW imposes a $45 per quarter fee on all international students. Members of the International Solidarity workgroup have worked with the Bargaining Committee to ensure that the international student fee is waived for ASEs. We continue to work with various international student organizations on campus for the elimination of this discriminatory fee for all international students. – VICTORY WON THROUGH TRAVEL BAN BARGAINING IN APRIL 2017!!!
  • Securing the STEM OPT extension (August 2015):
    • In August 2015, the OPT extension available to F-1 students in STEM fields was vacated by a court ruling, forcing the USCIS to re-introduce the proposed OPT extension rules. The International Solidarity Workgroup organized a workshop to discuss the implications of the court ruling, and develop an action to stop the reversal of the STEM extension. We mobilized hundreds of international students and successfully petitioned the Department of Homeland Security to adopt the proposed STEM OPT extension.
  • Fighting Back Against Travel Restrictions (December 2015):
    • In December 2015, Congress considered the H.R. 158 bill that placed undue travel restrictions on dual nationals of targeted countries, including Iran, Iraq and Syria. We launched a campaign in opposition to the bill, and urged Washington senators to vote it down.
  • Surveying International ASEs/Postdocs (Ongoing):
    • We are currently developing a survey and gathering stories of work-related issues that international ASEs/Postdocs face. Please get in touch if you have story to share or would like to help develop the survey.