The University of California’s largest employee union released a statement urging the Board of Regents to divest from businesses who work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement or support implementing President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” and family separation policies.
AFSCME Local 3299 made a request in late July for the UC to divest from contractors profiting from the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy of prosecuting all individuals who illegally enter the United States. When adults are detained for prosecution, their children are separately placed under the care of the Department for Health and Human Services. In the past, families were detained together, immediately sent back, or paroled into the country.
Maricruz Manzanarez, AFSCME Local 3299’s immigration committee chair, said that she thinks the UC must stop outsourcing jobs to companies who support deportation policy.
“UC outsources jobs to ICE collaborators for the same reason that ICE does,” Manzanarez said. “They want to pay their workers less. And most of those workers – like the families being ripped apart and detained by ICE – are immigrants and people of color.”
Over 50,000 employees across the 10 UC campuses went on strike for three days in May partly due to growing concerns about outsourcing at UC, which they feel leads to increased income and racial inequality.
In a statement, AFSCME Local 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger called for more severe condemnation by UC President Janet Napolitano of the Trump administration’s forceful immigration policies.
Lybarger also said she thinks Napolitano and the regents should use the UC’s purchasing power for social justice.
“This is a fundamental question of leadership and morality, and she can’t have it both ways,” she said.