CANTON, Mass. – The Massachusetts Nurses Association, the state’s largest union and professional association of registered nurses and health professionals is taking this opportunity to expresses its outrage over the inhumane treatment of 361 immigrant workers and their families as a result of the raid by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency at the Michael Bianco Inc. leather factory. We decry this action and its aftermath as an unseemly violation of basic human rights that is unacceptable in any society that deems itself enlightened and civilized.
As an organization of health professionals who work every day to provide compassionate care to all who need it in our state, regardless of their alleged immigration status, we are appalled by the actions of any officials, whether federal, state or local, who would allow families to be so callously ripped apart and for vulnerable children to be subject to emotional turmoil, injury and illness as was the case in this misguided endeavor.
As a union that fights every day to guarantee fair pay and benefits, along with safe working conditions for all workers, we are sickened that our system – and all those agencies and officials who are responsible for regulating it — would allow the these workers (and the millions of others like them across this state and nation) to be subjected to the conditions and ill treatment they were forced to endure. They are US workers. Their immigration status, or the question thereof, does not sanction unjust and unsafe working conditions.
We, as a society, cannot continue to turn a blind eye and remain silent while employers continue to erode the rights of workers, particularly those in low wage jobs.
Regardless of one’s views on the issue of immigration, no person or family deserves to be treated as these families have been treated. We can and must do better as a society.