Today, on the eve of the first anniversary of the ILO Convention on Dignified Work for Domestic Workers, President Obama announced that the Department of Homeland Security will end certain deportations of young people and allow them to work legally in the United States. The changes will directly impact nearly 1 million youth.
The young DREAMers who have fought tirelessly to be able to stay in their home country without fear have shown us the power of coming together for dignity and respect against incredible odds. Through setback after setback they continue to dream, believe, and organize.
The news today is a victory for all of us. Marcia Oliva, from Miami Workers Center/Ola de Mujeres in Florida explains the importance of the decision for all domestic workers:
"Happiness is in the air today because of the opportunities created by this decision. This is a victory for domestic workers, since so many of our families and our young people are affected. What's happened today is an opportunity for us to keep on fighting and fighting until we achieve justice for ALL immigrants."
The President’s news is a long-time coming and there is still much more work to be done, but the announcement is indeed beautiful proof of the power of organizing.
As we celebrate, we cannot forget that we must continue to organize with our young allies to ensure that the promise of the President’s announcement becomes a reality. Just as we have turned the ILO victory into an opportunity to win ratification in countries across the globe, we must not rest until this news becomes real for the brave young DREAMers leading this inspiring struggle for rights, dignity and respect.
"This is a beautiful example of the struggle for social justice that we've been waging. This shows that if you raise your voice, you will be heard. Young people have been working hard to win these changes, and this is an example of justice being done."
—Domestic worker Gilda Blanco of Casa Latina, Seattle, Washington
Children from Alabama read letters hand-written by children from around the nation as part of the "A Wish for All Families" campaign on March 22, 2012 in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo: Elizabeth Rappaport/Ms. Foundation for Women