Union members march against immigration policies

Union members and Occupy SF protesters joined together to protest at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office.
December 15, 2011 8:21:47 PM PST
Union members and Occupy SF protesters joined together to protest at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, and then at the Wells Fargo headquarters in downtown San Francisco today.

The Service Employees International Union United Service Workers West called for today's protest, which picketed outside the immigration offices at 630 Sansome St. this afternoon.

The union represents 40,000 janitors, security guards, airport workers and other property service employees.

Union organizer Cecille Isidro said that as many as 250 union employees attended the protest, and many were bused in from San Jose and Sacramento to join the demonstration.

Occupy SF protesters joined the demonstration after a brief action at the Federal Reserve building at 101 Market St., where protesters operated an encampment for weeks until it was shut down recently by San Francisco police.

The march circled the Wells Fargo headquarters at 420 Montgomery St., blocking downtown traffic as protesters carried signs that said, "The 1 percent profits from fear, we are not afraid."

"We had a greater turnout than we expected," Isidro said. "It was amazing to see all these different groups coming together and identify as allies."

Isidro said the march was intended to draw attention to the nation's immigration policies, which she said target hard-working families through unfair enforcement policies.

She said that immigration offices target companies that properly file paperwork with difficult audits, while companies that flaunt the rules and do not file proper paperwork because they are hiding poor workplace policies aren't targeted for audits.

"The fear that's being spread from this broken system is really used against people who for over 20 years have struggled and sacrificed to get jobs with benefits and decent wages," Isidro said.

The protest ended peacefully shortly before 2 p.m. when union members boarded buses to take them back to their home cities.


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