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The Teamsters in New York Declares Itself A ‘Sanctuary Union’

The Teamsters’ Joint Council 16 has announced that it is a ‘sanctuary union’ and will refuse to cooperate with ICE.

Declaring its disagreement with the deportation of illegal immigrants who happen to dues-paying members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ union, the Teamsters in New York state has declared itself a ‘sanctuary union.’

The move comes after one of its union members—an illegal immigrant—was reportedly arrested during a “silent raid” at a Long Island waste facility.


As a result, earlier this month, Teamsters’ Joint Council 16 resolved:

  • We will not voluntarily cooperate with federal agents in the prosecution or attempted deportation of Teamster members;
  • We will not collect personal information from our members that may be used to challenge their immigration status;
  • We will hold “Know Your Rights” trainings and share legal resources with our members;
  • We will collectively bargain new contract language that strengthens workplace protections for immigrant members;
  • We will continue to build alliances with others working to protect communities and the undocumented, and participate in protests in response to ICE raids or employer collaboration for the sake of union-busting;
  • In response to the ending of the DACA program, we will commit to do all we can to push Congress to pass the DREAM Act;
  • We proudly declare and will mobilize support for Sanctuary Unions, Sanctuary Cities, and Sanctuary Campuses.

“The Teamsters is following the lead of several of other labor groups around the country, including the American Federation of Teachers and California’s National Union of Healthcare Workers,” according to NY Magazine.


While some local governments (and California) have declared themselves to be ‘sanctuary cities’ and are refusing to cooperate with federal authorities, it remains to be seen what will happen when a private entity like a union refuses to comply with federal authorities and, as a result, becomes complicit in assisting illegal immigrants evade authorities.

In the past, when companies have engaged in this type of behavior, employer representatives have gone to jail and been fined.

Teamsters' Sanctuary Union Resolution 9-13-17 on Scribd


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