Press Releases
January 31, 2017

Statement from Jorge Ramirez, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor, regarding President Trump’s executive orders on immigration

“It is disgraceful that President Trump is using the power entrusted to him by the American people to close our borders to refugees and cut off funding to cities who provide sanctuary. America is a nation built by immigrants for immigrants, and to turn away anyone who seeks refuge within our borders flies in the face of the principles on which this country was built.

“The fight for immigrant rights has deep seeded roots within the labor movement that trace back to Chicago’s Haymarket Square in 1886. The modern, American labor movement began right here in Chicago thanks to the determination and fortitude of the immigrants who made Chicago their home. They realized early on that in order to fight corporate greed and ensure a safe and secure future for themselves and their families, they would have to come together and work across nationalities for their collective advancement.

“On the surface, the Haymarket Affair was the fight for a shorter workday, but, in reality, it was a fight for immigration rights, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right to free assembly. Born out of this tragedy was a movement committed to fight for the rights of immigrant workers.

“Today, we support Chicago’s stance to remain a sanctuary city. Chicago is a community comprised of 77 individual neighborhoods, where over 100 languages are spoken by people of 140 different nationalities. The reality is people come to Chicago from all parts of the globe for the American dream and a desire to provide for their families. This is the foundation that the labor movement as well as immigrant rights are each founded on. The Chicago Federation of Labor is committed to continuing to fight so that anyone who seeks refuge here receives the protection they desire.”